Apple and other tech giants battle Chinese intellectual property theft

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Apple has faced challenges growing its brand in China.
Photo: Apple

Chinese companies copying Silicon Valley tech giants, and thereby infringing on intellectual property rights, is something that has been an issue for years.

It seems that U.S. tech companies are striking back, however, with a trade group that represents companies including Apple, Google, and IBM speaking out against Chinese regulators at an International Trade Commission hearing this week.

Chinese commercial groups were reportedly present at the meeting, and argued that progress is being made crafting an intellectual property system designed to protect companies. This is something which didn’t exist prior to China’s ascent to become the world’s second largest economy.

Erin Ennis, senior vice-president of the trade group U.S.-China Business Council, told the hearing in Washington that rules requiring tech companies to transfer technology to Chinese enterprises “as a condition to gain market access” might place, “unreasonable and discriminatory burdens” on American commercial interests.

Ennis said that the “ultimate goal” should be to get rid of technology transfer requirements, which are, “an acute concern of American companies in key sectors, who often must make difficult choices about managing the trade-off of technology sharing and access to the world’s second-largest economy.”

The U.S.-China Business Council includes 200 U.S. companies, with addition tech members including Amazon and Oracle. President Donald Trump is expected to discuss the issue of intellectual property when he meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping in November.

Apple’s China tribulations

Apple, while making no secret of its desire to grow its business in China, has so far run into various problems fulfilling that mission. In the past, it has been ordered to shut down the iBookstore and iTunes Movies in China, as well as been forced to accept the Chinese government’s demands that it run network safety evaluations on all Apple products before they can be imported into the country.

It has also seen its products booted off the list of approved state purchases in favor of Chinese-made products. Recently, Apple agreed to set up a new data center in China, in partnership with local data management firm Guizhou-Cloud Big Data Industry (GCDB), in order to meet new laws requiring cloud services in the country to be operated by Chinese companies.

Source: SCMP

Via: Apple Insider