China vows to tighten controls over intellectual property theft

Fake DVD of American movies on sale in Shanghai on Aug 15, 2017.
Fake DVD of American movies on sale in Shanghai on Aug 15, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (REUTERS) - China will tighten controls over intellectual property (IP) to provide better opportunities for foreign firms, the commerce ministry said on Friday (Aug 25).

The government's crackdown on intellectual property violations will focus on trademark registration abuse and business secret theft, Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen told reporters at a press briefing in Beijing, adding that China's IP protection was "not perfect" as a developing country.

US President Donald Trump this month authorised an inquiry into China's alleged theft of intellectual property - the first direct trade measure by his administration against Beijing.

China's cabinet issued guidelines earlier this month to promote foreign investment, which promised to reduce market entry barriers and offer fiscal policy support for foreign firms operating in the country amid rising criticism that their business environment is deteriorating.

Details of the measures and a specific timetable for implementation will be announced by the end of September "in principle", Wang said.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) into China fell 11.8 per cent in July from a year earlier to 43.88 billion yuan (S$9 billion), according to Reuters calculation.