A Chinese court has issued tough sentences to members of a huge software counterfeiting ring, which distributed more than $US2 billion ($A3 billion) worth of fake Microsoft goods, the company said.
The court in the southern city of Shenzhen on Wednesday sentenced 11 people to jail terms of up to six-and-a-half years for making high-quality counterfeit software that was sold in 36 countries, Microsoft said in a statement.
The sentences were the "stiffest ever meted out for intellectual property rights violations in China", said a report on the verdicts by the popular Chinese internet portal Sina.com.
The illegal syndicate, based in the southern province of Guangdong, pirated versions of 19 of the company's most popular products, which were produced in at least 11 languages, Microsoft said in its statement posted on Wednesday.
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