Deep & Far Newsletter 2020 ©
The Greater China IP – Latest Development
The 12th China International Patent Technology and Products Fair
The recently held technology fair held in Dalian from November 11 to 13, 2020 was a chance for China to show its focus on the role of IP in the wider economy. There were both online and offline events, including exhibitions, live auctions and investment matching. Also, prizes were given out for winners in various categories of the 21st China Patent Award ceremony. The China Patent Award is co-organized by the CNIPA and the World Intellectual Property Organization and prizes for 30 invention patents and 10 design patents were up for grabs this year. This year there were a record-breaking 2,479 patent entrants for the competition, and they were recommended by national and local IP departments, industry associations and academicians from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering. Not only is the fair a chance to showcase its achievements in the IP field but also an opportunity to build platforms to connect people from different areas and develop mutually beneficial ties.
China’s Anti-Monopoly Law and the Internet
Chinese regulators are rolling out detailed regulations to prevent the dominance of companies like Alibaba and Tencent and provide a level playing field for smaller rivals. The Chinese State Administration of Market Regulation intends to curb anti-competitive behavior such as colluding on sharing sensitive consumer data, targeting individual customers via their online activities, building alliances that keep out smaller rivals and subsidizing services at below cost to eliminate their competitors. The state apparatus is acting now as it sees such companies as becoming too powerful. Also, Chinese consumers have been raising the issue of invasion of privacy via technology from facial recognition to big data analysis. Likewise, in the U.S. and other countries, regulators are scrutinizing Internet giants like Facebook and Google and their overreach into people’s lives. One regulation is likely to be that companies that operate a variable interest entity – a vehicle by which large Chinese Internet companies can attract foreign investment and list overseas – will have to apply for specific operating approval. Violating the new rules will mean the offenders will have to divest assets, intellectual property or technology, open up their infrastructure and adjust their algorithms. It remains to be seen how radical a step will be taken against the IP of such companies found guilty of monopolistic practices and exactly what role the regulators see for themselves after diminishing the power of tech corporations over a large part of the economy.