Beijing
15 March 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon
China heeds calls for tougher counterfeiting penalties
Senior Chinese officials, including the country's premier, have acknowledged calls for tighter counterfeiting laws in China.

Director of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, Zhang Mao, said during a press conference that China needs to impose “harsher penalties” on counterfeiters, following calls from Alibaba Group and its executive chair, Jack Ma.

Mao was speaking during the ‘Two Sessions’ meetings, which are held annually to set government policy for the coming year. Separately, Premier Li Keqiang said during his own press conference: “We need to solve and punish illegal and illegitimate issues such as counterfeiting, deceiving, and copyright violations, especially in areas like food, medicine, and environment protection."

Mao commented: “I noticed that some entrepreneurs like Jack Ma appealed for harsher penalties and for fighting counterfeits the same way we fight drunk driving. I agree with that. I think that we need to strictly follow the laws and regulations.”

Earlier this month, Ma called for stricter and more comprehensive laws against counterfeiters, who he said were “not held legally responsible for their actions”.

“The maximum penalty for anything above that amount is seven years. This is a 20-year-old law and a 10-year-old judicial interpretation, severely out-of-date from reality, resulting in 99 percent of counterfeit activities bearing no consequences at all,” Ma said.

Mao, addressing this, stated that “Alibaba thinks that only a small percentage of the counterfeit leads resulted in sentencing, most of which were too light.”

“Overall, the costs are too low not just for counterfeiting but also for illegal competition in our current market. Our agency is paying significant attention to this issue.”

Speaking on what the Chinese government can do to combat counterfeiting issues, Mao said that the country needs to establish a “robust social trust system and comprehensive laws” that will “alleviate the issue of counterfeiting”.

“I can’t say when we will have a world completely without counterfeits—no country dares to make such a statement. But that’s our wish.”

“Our goal is to have a world with less counterfeits and we will continue to work towards that goal.”

More news
The latest news from IPPro The Internet
Join Our Newsletter

Sign up today and never
miss the latest news or an issue again

Subscribe now
Alibaba secures defamation verdict against counterfeiter
25 July 2017 | Shanghai | Reporter: Mark Dugdale
A pet-food vendor who sold counterfeit cat food via the Taobao marketplace has been found guilty of defamation in China, according to Alibaba Group
Kodi crackdown continues
25 July 2017 | London | Reporter: Katherine Brown
Authorities arrested a man in Derby and seized more than 40 illegal streaming devices in London as part of a country-wide crackdown on Kodi and similar boxes
CITMA calls for continuation of rights post-Brexit
24 July 2017 | London | Reporter: Barney Dixon
The Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys has asked that all of its current members to be able to continue to represent clients at the EU Intellectual Property Office after Brexit
Dark web marketplace AlphaBay shut down
21 July 2017 | Washington DC | Reporter: Barney Dixon
The US government has seized AlphaBay, the largest online ‘dark market’ that was used by hundreds of thousands of people to trade illegal goods
Congressmen Issa and Goodlatte hit out at Judge Gilstrap
20 July 2017 | Washington DC | Reporter: Mark Dugdale
Two members of the House judiciary committee have criticised Judge Rodney Gilstrap for his interpretation of TC Heartland v Kraft Foods
PIPCU puts the brakes on car counterfeits
20 July 2017 | London | Reporter: Barney Dixon
The City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit has seized more than 200 Audi and Volkswagen car parts worth tens of thousands of pounds
.Amazon could be up for grabs
19 July 2017 | Los Angeles | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Amazon could finally claim the .Amazon domain after it succeeded in an independent review on ICANN’s decision to deny its applications