The research company Chinalabs.com said 38 percent of the software on computers in China in 2011 was illegally obtained, a decline of 3 percentage points from 41 percent in 2010.
The findings, based on data from the State Intellectual Property Office, continued a downward trend that has been seen over the last seven years, China's state-run Xinhua news agency said this week.
Chinalabs said the largest decline was in IT security software thefts, which dipped from 45 percent in 2010 to 39 percent. Decreases were also seen in office and operating-system software.
The company warned that while software piracy was on the wane, software prices in China have been going up, which could encourage more users to skirt copyrights and obtain their software illegally.