Shanghai free trade zone to be policed for copyright infringements

By Zhang Yiwei Source:Global Times Published: 2014-1-22 1:23:01

China will keep a close eye on the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ) to combat cross-border crimes on intellectual property right (IPR) infringements and production of counterfeit goods.

The FTZ, inaugurated on September 29, 2013, has a high level of openness. This means it could be subject to the risk of fueling criminal infringement of IPR, said Chai Haitao, deputy director of the Office of the National Leading Group on the Fight against IPR Infringement and Counterfeiting, at a briefing Tuesday.

The Chinese police will pay close attention to new changes regarding the production and sale of counterfeit and inferior goods in the FTZ, even though no obvious sign of such crimes has emerged yet, said Gao Feng, political commissar of the Economic Crime Investigation Department of the Ministry of Public Security (MPS).

In a year-long crackdown on counterfeiting in 2013, Chinese police solved 55,180 cases worth 172.9 billion yuan ($28.6 billion) and apprehended 59,222 suspects. The MPS took part in Operation Hurricane, an Interpol-led campaign against counterfeiting and illicit trade, and solved 2,914 cases in June 2013.

"A huge global chain of counterfeit products and cross-border criminal networks has emerged," Gao said, noting that the collaboration between China police and its US counterpart is leading the international law enforcement cooperation.

"Crackdowns on IPR infringements in China are very welcomed by foreign companies that suffer the infringements, because they can get a considerable reward from the crackdown since China is a large market for their products," said Jin Baisong, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation.

He noted that China's strong manufacturing industry makes criminal networks include it as part of their "industrial chain." 

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