updated 01:11 pm EST, Sun November 11, 2012
Statement claims China 'pays the most' for IP, software
Amidst the Chinese 18th Communist Party congress, the State Intellectual Property Office head Tian Lipu claims that there is deliberate distortion of the piracy issue in China by the Western media, caused by the country's bad reputation overseas. Despite the claimed mischaracterization he defended the practice, claiming that "Speaking honestly, there is a market. People use and buy pirated goods."
"China's image overseas is very poor. As soon as people hear China they think or piracy and counterfeiting -- Sanlitun, that place in Shanghai, Luohu in Shenzhen. We don't deny, and we are continuing to battle against it," Tian declared.
Tian said that manufacturers like Apple aren't concerned by the issue, and if they were, they wouldn't choose China for manufacture of devices like the iPhone and iPad. "Of the goods made for Apple, most are made in China. Once Apple's brand is added to it and it is exported to the United States its value doubles," he said. "This could only happen because China's intellectual property rights environment sets foreign investors at ease allowing them to come to China to manufacture."
US businesses are wary of Chinese efforts to inhibit piracy. Microsoft and other members of the Business Software Alliance claim that nearly 80 percent of the software installed in China is pirated. The International Intellectual Property Alliance, a group of film, software, and music publishers believe that US businesses lose more than $14 billion a year to software piracy, assuming that an illicitly installed software package equals a lost sale.
Tian doesn't believe the estimated numbers. He says that "China is the world's largest payer for patent rights, for trademark rights, for royalties, and one of the largest for buying real software. We pay the most. People rarely talk about this, but it really is a fact. Our government offices, our banks, our insurance companies, our firms ... the software is all real."