Up until now, the powers that be here in the States have had a relatively laissez faire attitude about what goes on at the Beijing office and our accounting department hadn't noticed that Beijing never submitted receipts for software, until I questioned them about it.
I have no doubt that "everyone else does it" in that environment. Frankly, I could care less what those guys do with their personal computers, but when it comes to company-owned gear my attitude is to stay legal no matter what anyone else is doing. And it's not like they need to do it to save money: the Beijing branch turns a tidy profit. It just seems to be an attitude so firmly ingrained in the culture over there that no one gives it a second thought.
My response (CC'd to our CFO) was to ask for copies of all receipts and serial numbers for the software they're using. and see what happens. This came down today, so I'll give them a day or two to come up with something.