China has vowed to do more to crack down on the “rampant” and “frequent” violation of intellectual property rights in the country, a senior government official has announced.
Deputy director of the Ministry of Public Security's Economic Crimes Investigation Bureau Gao Feng announced at a news conference that his agency had uncovered over 2,000 cases with a financial value totalling 2.3 billion yuan since the government launched the crackdown last November, Reuters reports.
So far, more than 4,000 individuals have been arrested, he said.
"On one hand they demonstrate the achievements we've made in cracking down on the violation of IPR, on the other hand it also indicates that IPR violation is still quite rampant and frequent," Gao said of the figures. "So we want to introduce heavier punishments."
China is facing increased pressure from Europe and the US over its lax enforcement of intellectual property laws, and has promised “concrete results” from the latest crackdown. But critics warn that a sustained effort from the Chinese government will be needed to achieve lasting results.
US customs officials estimate that around 80 per cent of all fake goods seized each year come from China, and The International Intellectual Property Alliance has pegged US trade losses in China from piracy throughout 2009 to be $3.9 billion.