CNN is reporting that China is investigating stronger measures to protect intellectual property rights.
Intellectual property (IP) has been one of the battlegrounds in the U.S. and China’s trade war. China has a long history of lax IP protections, especially for foreign companies. Many a company has had their IP stolen after doing business with Chinese companies, with one in five reporting their IP stolen within the last year.
In response, the Trump administration has considered using the Commerce Department’s “entity list” to blacklist Chinese companies who repeatedly steal IP and violate U.S. patent and copyright laws. While the entity list is usually reserved for companies deemed a military or terrorist threat, the Trump administration has argued that economic security is part of national security as a whole, thereby making companies who damage it with illegal or unethical behavior a national security threat.
It now appears the Chinese government may be ready to make concessions. According to CNN, China “has unveiled new guidelines about the protection of intellectual property, a move that could mark a big step toward appeasing the United States, and may even help pave the way for a long-awaited trade truce.
“Beijing’s announcement Sunday was short on detail, though the country did indicate that it could introduce stronger IP protections and toughen punishments on those who infringe them. Such measures could address a concern that Washington has been railing on for ages.”
According to Reuters, “the document said that by 2022, China should be making progress in issues that have affected intellectual property rights enforcement, such as low compensation, high costs, and the difficulty of proof. By 2025, there should be a better system of protection in place.”