Mon, Mar 14, 2011 - Page 4 News List

China arrests thousands in crackdown

AP, BEIJING

Chinese authorities have arrested 3,001 people in their latest crackdown on rampant product piracy and seized fake or counterfeit medicines, liquor, mobile phones and other goods, officials said yesterday.

The campaign launched in October comes as Beijing faces pressure from the US and other trading partners to stamp out product copying. China is a leading source of fake goods despite repeated crackdowns, but Chinese officials have promised the latest enforcement will produce lasting results.

Communist leaders have given the new crackdown special prominence, publicly linking it to efforts to transform China from a low-cost factory to a creator of profitable technology by nurturing companies in software and other fields. China’s fledgling software, music and other creative companies have been devastated by unlicensed copying.

“Intellectual property protection is essential for building an innovation-oriented country and achieving a shift from ‘China manufactured’ to ‘China innovated,’” Li Chenggang (李成鋼), deputy director of the Chinese Commerce Ministry’s law department, said at a press conference.

He was joined by officials from China’s commerce, intellectual property and other agencies.

Trade groups say illegal Chinese copying of music, designer clothing and other goods costs legitimate producers billions of dollars a year in lost potential sales. The American Chamber of Commerce in China says 70 percent of its member companies consider Beijing’s enforcement of patents, trademarks and copyrights ineffective.

Businesspeople have expressed optimism about the latest effort because a rising Chinese Communist Party star, Vice Premier Wang Qishan (王岐山), has been put in charge and an office has been set up in the Commerce Ministry.

Also yesterday, Xinhua news agency reported that 23 people accused of producing fake medicine were detained in the central city of Jingzhou, Hubei Province. It said they made more than 100 million capsules filled with sawdust and wheat flour sold under the brand names of 201 types of medication.

Xinhua said the medicines were sold by mail and over the Internet, but gave no further details.

Rampant copying has hampered Beijing’s efforts to attract technology industries because businesspeople say companies are reluctant to do high-level research in China or bring in advanced designs for fear of theft.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top