Ballmer joins Obama in whinging at China over IP

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Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer joined President Obama and a gaggle of businessmen to meet with Chinese President Hu Jintao yesterday and took the opportunity to shout at Hu over what he regards as the flouting of intellectual property rights in China.

In a meeting at the White House as part of Hu's official visit to the U.S., Ballmer apparently highlighted the importance of intellectual property to the future success and economic development of both countries, according to a Microsoft bog.

The bog claims Ballmer told Hu that 'serious IP piracy problems' exist in China.

President Obama came out of the meeting to tell the press that some of the meeting had to do with intellectual property protection. "Steve Ballmer of Microsoft pointed out that their estimate is that only one customer in every 10 of their products is actually paying for it in China. And so can we get better enforcement, since that is an area where America excels - intellectual property and high-value added products and services.”

Obama suggested that Hu had agreed to do something about it. "I appreciate his willingness to take new steps to combat the theft of intellectual property," Obama said.

The U.S traditionally moans at China over human rights whenever an official visits the White House, not that the US seems to have held the human rights of the inhabitants of this particular Afghan village in too high a regard.

In a joint statement following the earlier meeting between the two presidents Hu said: "We will work with the United States and other countries to effectively address global challenges, such as meeting the climate challenge, terrorism, transnational crime, energy and resource security, food security, public health security and serious natural disasters, so as to forge a bright future for the world."