In Apparent Trade War Compromise, China Issues Guidelines For IP Theft

The general offices of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the State Council published a new report Sunday titled "The Guideline on Strengthening Intellectual Property Rights Protection," which states the government will increase fines on violations of intellectual property rights (IPR) in an effort to satisfy the US for the possible signing of a 'Phase One' US/China trade deal. Though last week's trade headlines suggest, both countries are still far apart from an actual agreement that might not be signed until next year.

"Strengthening the protection of intellectual property rights is the most important content to improve the system of property rights protection and the biggest incentive to improve China's economic competitiveness. In order to implement the decision-making arrangements of the Party Central Committee and the State Council on strengthening intellectual property protection, and further improve the system and optimize the mechanism, the following opinions are proposed," the report said. 

The report said the CPC would strengthen protections through both the civil and criminal justice systems and the implementation of stricter fines. 

The thresholds for someone violating IPR laws will be lowered, but there were limited details that specified where the bar would be set. 

By 2022, China wants to stomp out IPR infringement:  

"Strive to achieve effective containment of infringement and prostitution in 2022, and the situation of rights holders' rights protection is difficult to prove, long cycle, high cost and low compensation. By 2025, the social satisfaction of intellectual property protection will reach and maintain a high level, the protection capacity will be effectively improved, the protection system will be more perfect, the business environment that respects the value of knowledge will be more optimized, and the basic guarantee function of the intellectual property system to stimulate innovation will be more effectively played," the report said. 

China will also strive towards increasing punishment for infringements and counterfeiting, along with improving international cooperation in IPR protection.

Though these are just guidelines at the moment, the larger question is, how does China enforce IPR rules?