Intellectual property theft in China

Chinese factory Pictures, Images and Photos China is notorious for stealing technologies and products from successful companies and reverse engineering them. They then turn around and sell those copied products for far less than the original throughout the world and they also have lower quality than the original. This hurts those brands and their profits. This is simply the cost of doing business in China and the companies that enter China and the quickly growing market there know it. However, yesterday a new low was reached by a Chinese company. Actually, this low is not new, but the media in North America just noticed it. Instead of knock off Apple products, there are three knock off Apple stores in China. They tried to mimic everything about the Apple store including the look, the furniture and even the blue t-shirts the staff wear. It is unclear whether the products are knock offs as well.

This got me thinking. Will China always be a country that just knocks off other companies’ innovations or will they actually contribute more meaningfully to society in this respect at some point? The operative phrase here is “at some point”. For the next several years at least, China will not do much innovating themselves, but rather steal it from the U.S. and other innovative countries. The fact is that this is a deep seeded trait of Chinese society and it will take time to break it. Eventually though, Chinese companies will modernize and begin creating new products that the world wants to buy. They will then sue the pants off the other Chinese companies that knock their products off and they will win those cases since they are both Chinese. This will then change China’s stance on intellectual property laws. This has already started to happen in small instances. I believe China and the global market will look a lot different in 10-15 years in good way. There will be more global competition and less knock off products. The real winners will be us, the consumers.