LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA, L'Oreal SA and other French companies lose a combined US$10 billion a year to copyright, patent and trademark theft, a French official said, pointing to Chinese counterfeiters as major culprits. \nFrance, which had 9.6 percent unemployment in November, loses 30,000 jobs a year because of counterfeiters, said Benoit Battistelli, commissioner of the National Institute for Industrial Property, the French patent office. Fake goods, including about 10 percent of French cosmetics, are valued as high as 300 billion euros (US$392 billion), he said. \n"Counterfeiting isn't as risky but is more profitable than drug trafficking," Battistelli said in an interview while attending a Hong Kong conference on intellectual property rights. \n"Counterfeiting is a major issue between China and France." Under pressure from trading partners such as the US, China set up a task force last year, headed by Vice Premier Wu Yi (吳儀), to step up the crackdown on counterfeiters. China said on Dec. 21 it would make theft of intellectual property punishable by as much as seven years. \nChina still isn't doing enough to enforce copyright and trademark laws, former US Commerce Secretary Donald Evans said during a visit to China this month before his tenure ended. \nCopyright violations cost US companies as much as US$25 billion a year. \nPiracy Curbs China is trying to curb piracy, Li Dongsheng, vice minister for State Administration for Industry and Commerce, said in an interview today at the Hong Kong conference. Rather than sue Chinese companies they suspect of piracy, foreign companies can appeal to the local branch of his agency for redress, Li said.
FORCED LABOR: Customs officials have seized a 11.8 tonne shipment of products made from human hair on suspicion they were produced by people facing human rights abuses Federal authorities in New York City on Wednesday seized a shipment of weaves and other beauty accessories suspected to be made out of human hair taken from people locked inside a Chinese internment camp. US Customs and Border Protection (CPB) officials said that 11.8 tonnes of hair products worth an estimated US$800,000 were in the shipment. “The production of these goods constitutes a very serious human rights violation, and the detention order is intended to send a clear and direct message to all entities seeking to do business with the United States that illicit and inhumane practices will not be tolerated in
JUST QUESTIONS: Expelled reporter Ai Kezhu said that every member of Southeast Television had complied with the law and had not appeared on any talk shows Two Chinese reporters yesterday left Taiwan after the government revoked their accreditation and ordered them to leave amid a probe into allegations that several Chinese media outlets have set up studios and produced political talk shows in Taiwan. The two reporters — Ai Kezhu (艾珂竹) and Lu Qiang (盧薔) — worked for Fujian Province-based Southeast Television and arrived in Taiwan in December last year. The Mainland Affairs Council has launched an investigation after local media reported that Chinese broadcasters — including China Central Television, Southeast Television and FJTV — had set up studios in Taipei and produced political talk shows. Council Deputy Minister
HONG KONG SECURITY: The president blasted regulations requiring Taiwanese agents or political organizations to provide information on their Hong Kong-related activities President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday warned of countermeasures should controversial Chinese national security legislation imposed on Hong Kong undermine or harm Taiwanese interests. Article 43 of the legislation empowers the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to serve written notices to Taiwanese political organizations or individual agents to furnish information on their Hong Kong-related activities, including their personal particulars, finances, assets, expenditure and capital in the territory. Failure to comply or providing false or incomplete information can result in a fine of HK$100,000 (US$12,903) or imprisonment of six months or two years respectively. Tsai said that Taiwan would keep a close watch on how
PROBE LAUNCHED: An officer who served as a supervisor in the drill died in an apparent suicide after the accident, which was caused by unexpected waves Two marines who were on Friday injured in a military exercise in the waters off Kaohsiung passed away yesterday, Navy Command said. The marines — surnamed Tsai (蔡), 26, and a sergeant surnamed Chen (陳), 36 — were in a seven-member Marine Corps team that encountered rough seas during a simulated response to enemy forces landing on Taiwan. Their rubber craft overturned in waters off Taoziyuan (桃子園) beach in Zuoying District (左營), injuring four of the marines. They were rushed to hospital, where three of them — Tsai, Chen and a 34-year-old sergeant — were taken to an intensive care unit