Fourteen enterprises throughout the country have been punished for illegally copying video and audio disks. The move is part of national efforts to intensify the protection of intellectual property rights (IPR), a senior press official said yesterday.
Six of the companies - in Henan and Guangdong provinces and Chongqing Municipality - had their licenses suspended.
The move was part of a nationwide crackdown that started in January, said Sun Shoushan, spokesman for the General Administration of Press and Publication.
Eight other companies in Beijing and Guangdong Province were ordered to halt production for the duration of investigations, Sun said.
Sun's administration and public security departments investigated 48 compact disk copying companies in 18 provinces and municipalities over the last few months.
Its crackdown on piracy demonstrates the administration's strong determination to implement IPR protection, Sun said. "We want to send a message to enterprises that piracy is not allowed."
The compact disk copying sector has grown rapidly over the past two decades with more investment entities, including State-owned, private and foreign companies, entering the market.
This sector is becoming an important part of the nation's information, and press and publication industries, Sun said.
"Most of the enterprises are well aware of IPRs and operate their businesses in line with the laws and regulations," he added.
"But we still have a lot of problems waiting to be resolved in IPR protection because we have limited experience in this area," he said.
Poor awareness of IPR protection among ordinary people and a need for further reform in the market add to the problem, Sun added.
While cracking down on illegal enterprises, the administration will offer support to businesses that have their own IPRs.
"We will provide such businesses with preferential policies so that they can grow and prosper," Sun said.
"In the second half of this year, the administration will take steps to promote technological development and transformation, as well as marketing, to help the industry continue to grow," Sun added.
(China Daily March 27, 2006)