China launches campaign to protect foreign intellectual property rights
The Trump administration last month officially launched a probe into alleged Chinese intellectual property theft and the findings could lead to the US imposing tariffs on Chinese products – potentially triggering a trade war between the world’s two biggest economies. Trump administration officials have estimated that theft of intellectual property by China could be as high as $600 billion.
It is the first time the Chinese government has started a nationwide campaign to protect foreign businesses’ intellectual property. The drive, which runs from this month to the end of December, is designed to “create a level playground”, protect investors’ legitimate interests and “further increase foreign investment”.
In addition to the commerce ministry, another 12 Chinese government and judicial bodies, including the Ministry of Public Security and the Supreme Court, are taking part in the campaign to crack down on the theft of trade secrets, trademark infringement, patent violations and online property rights violations. Each government department has been assigned its respective focus. For instance, the State Administration of Industry and Commerce is leading the efforts to protect foreign trademarks, while prosecutors give special attention to investigate any corruption or neglect of duty involved in intellectual property violations ocuuring.
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