Apple, IKEA, Dairy Queen: three International companies whose stores have been illegally cloned in China. No longer is it just videos and CDs that are being pirated. When customer experience, not physical goods, are being copied, what more evidence is needed that China’s economy is being reoriented to domestic demand?
Tag Archives: piracy
Google has run a music search engine in China since last August. It is the only country where it has such a service (or at least for now). It does so in direct competition with Baidu, which has 60% of the search market in China and gets a substantial portion of its traffic from searches for MP3s.
Many of the MP3s Baidu links to are illegal, which is where Google sees its opportunity, in legal, higher quality downloads. Initially it had some 350,000 songs but now, Reuters reports, it has signed licensing deals with the four major Western record labels, EMI, Sony Music, Warner Music Group and Universal Music, that will expand the catalogue to 1.1 million songs. The labels will share ad revenue around the free downloads with Google and Top100.cn, a music website co-founded by basketball star Yao Ming.
Because of piracy, Western record labels have made as near to no money in China as makes no difference. Annual sales are a derisory $76 million, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, the industry’s trade organization. The Google deal is the first serious attempt to change that. “I can’t overestimate how important this is,” Lachie Rutherford, president of Warner Music Asia Pacific, tells Reuters. We’ll see.
An update to yesterday’s post about China considering sending warships to fight piracy off the coast of Somalia: Bloomberg is reporting that the Foreign Ministry has confirmed preparations are in hand, without giving details of what vessels will be sent.
Piracy against Chinese ships seems more prevelant than thought. A ministry spokesman said that in the first 11 months of the year, 1,265 Chinese commercial ships passed through Somali waters, or about three to four a day, a fifth of which were assaulted by pirates.
Beijing is considering joining the international effort to tackle piracy off the coast of Somalia, or at least send warships to the area following an attempted attack on a Chinese ship on Wednesday. Chinese sailors and helicopters from the new EU anti-piracy force beat off the attack on the China Communications Construction Co. vessel, Zhenhua 4.
More than 120 ships have been attacked for ransom so far this year in what are some of the world’s busiest commercial shipping lanes. Deputy foreign minister He Yafei raised the possibility of sending navy vessels to the pirate infested Gulf of Aden at a ministerial meeting of the U.N. Security Council, Xinhua reports. Were it to happen, it would be an unprecedented display of naval power for modern China so far from its shores.
Piracy closer to home is familiar to China, as this snapshot of a map from the International Maritime Bureau, which tracks piracy incidents, shows.