Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Intellectual Property: Where is China going?

China and copyright have been something of an odd couple for some time. Since the 'reform and opening up' (gaige kaifeng) of the Chinese economy under Deng Xiaoping in 1978, China has definitely been the place to pick up a cheap copy of designer label clothing, bags, DVDs etc etc.

But since China joined the World Trade Organisation in 2001, this reputation has sat uncomfortably with both international (especially US) opinion and the nation's own aspirations to become a global leader in brands and IP and not just cheap manufactured goods.

The Wall Street Journal features a piece today by Wang Qishan, Vice Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, pointing to new IPR reforms in China that further harmonisation with international standards and promise greater enforcement of illegal copying.

The Beijing Silk Markets may be no more - or, as stated in the article, have undertaken "rectification" - and the Yashow Market may be too full of bus loads of Germans, but I'll bet 10 pairs of black Hugo Boss socks (cost $US10) that there is still much more to be uncovered about this question.

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