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Bejing Bans 'Naked' Computers

Sales of personal computers without software -- known as "naked computers" -- will be banned in the Chinese capital to reduce software piracy, the city government said Friday.

The announcement came days before Chinese President Hu Jintao leaves for the United States, which is pressing Beijing to crack down on rampant illegal copying of software, music and other goods.

The ban will take effect by the end of the year, the Beijing Copyright Bureau announced.

Its deputy director, Wang Yefei, said "all domestically made and imported computers are required to be sold with legitimate software pre-installed," the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

China is regarded as one of the world's leading producers of illegally copied software, movies and other products.

Some computer producers have been selling "naked computers" at a discount, Wang said.

"Some customers would install pirate software and infringe legitimate rights and interests of software companies," Wang was quoted as saying.

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