Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer recently told Chinese president Hu Jintao that enforcement of intellectual property rights is necessary for China's economic development.
Hu, together with president Barack Obama, met with a group of business leaders as part of an official visit to the United States.
During the meeting, Ballmer reportedly informed the Chinese president that Microsoft estimates only one out of every 10 people using the company's software in China has paid for a license.
Speaking after the discussion, president Obama said Hu demonstrated a willingness to listen to American concerns about the protection of intellectual assets. Furthermore, Obama noted the importance of intellectual property enforcement for the U.S. "This is an area where America excels - intellectual property and high value-added products and services," the president said.
Obama expressed optimism about the possibility of greater protection of intellectual assets in China. "The Chinese government has, to its credit, taken steps to better enforce intellectual property," he said.
Intellectual property was also raised at an earlier meeting between Hu and a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers, led by house speaker John Boehner. Following the discussion, Boehner said the group addressed the "need for stronger intellectual property protections in China."