But low prices lead many Chinese users to buy pirated software despite the risks, Nguyen said.
The pirated Windows 7 box had the labels "complete cracked version" and "standard version 1.0." The disc inside displayed a Windows logo and images of a penguin and a globe. It also displayed the name "Loxon Soft Studio," but no company by that name could immediately be located.
Other vendors at Chinese electronics bazaars said they did not have pirated versions of Windows 7 or feared punishment for selling them. One stall owner in Shanghai said police had cracked down on piracy in the bazaar ahead of the World Expo, an international event the city is hosting next year. But the pirated OS is still sold on sidewalks beside the bazaar at night, he said.
Beijing similarly cleaned up sales of pirated products before it hosted the Olympics last year, but fake DVD shops and street-corner vendors reappeared in the weeks after the event.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.