August 25, 2017 / 3:21 AM / 2 years ago

China says will tighten controls over intellectual property theft

China's Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen speaks at a news conference during the APEC Ministers Responsible For Trade (APEC MRT 23) meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam May 21, 2017. REUTERS/Hoang Dinh Nam/Pool

BEIJING (Reuters) - China will tighten controls over intellectual property to provide better opportunities for foreign firms, the commerce ministry said on Friday.

The government’s crackdown on intellectual property violations will focus on trademark registration abuse and business secret theft, Wang Shouwen, a vice commerce minister told reporters at a press briefing in Beijing, adding that China’s IP protection was “not perfect” as a developing country.

U.S. President Donald Trump this month authorized an inquiry into China’s alleged theft of intellectual property — the first direct trade measure by his administration against Beijing.

China’s cabinet issued guidelines earlier this month to promote foreign investment, which promised to reduce market entry barriers and offer fiscal policy support for foreign firms operating in the country amid rising criticism that their business environment is deteriorating.

Details of the measures and a specific timetable for implementation will be announced by the end of September “in principle”, Wang said.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) into China fell 11.8 percent in July from a year earlier to 43.88 billion yuan, according to Reuters calculation.

Reporting by Yawen Chen and Beijing Monitoring Desk; Editing by Jacqueline Wong; Editing by Michael Perry

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