China’s 13th Five Year Plan

In the wake of the adoption of the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020), by the Fifth Plenary Session of the 18th Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, a seminar was held in Sydney to hear the views of distinguished China-watchers.

Hosted by the Australia China Business Council and AustCham Beijing, attendees heard insights from Laurie Smith, Tracy Colgan and Dr Alice de Jonge at the event entitled “Explaining the 十三五 (13th Five-Year Plan)”.

The China Daily reports that ‘green development’ is a key component, and that “Development must rest on the basis of innovation”. The “allocation of labor, capital, land, technology and management will be focused on stimulating entrepreneurship, so that new technology, industries and business models will prosper.” This is a very positive sign of a country which has experienced extraordinary growth and may now seek to further capitalise on the financial and intellectual capital of its growing middle class.

After spending three of the last four months in China, creating and purchasing rights to a range of media including music, photography, print and video, it was interesting to hear the panelists views on the current government policy and enforcement of respect and defence of Intellectual Property (IP) rights. The rapid and sustained growth in China has not always been considerate of rights owners.

I first visited China in 1986 and was there last month. During those three decades, I have worked for a great variety of Chinese companies. I have witnessed a casual attitude to copyright and on occasion, conscious theft. Just recently, I was told that ‘”Nobody worries about copyright in China, not even the copyright owners”! It was my obligation and responsibility to present the view that all creative producers have an obligation to respect and pay for any materials we utilise for commercial purposes.

When I first worked with The Disney Company in Hong Kong in the early nineties, the office had a headcount of 16. I was told that of these staff, 12 were copyright lawyers! While they faced the massive task of locating and stopping the production of products for which Disney received no royalties, their highest priority was to find the ‘bad Mickeys’. Soft toys and likenesses in purple and green or with misplaced ears. These were deemed to be more damaging to the brand than the ‘good Mickeys’ in which at least, the world-famous mouse’s appearance was accurate.

It is well known that in a mature market like Japan, Hollywood celebrities have earned considerable sums for a print ad or television commercial promoting alcohol or other products. These ads are often exclusive to Japan. The same appeal for European and US actors applies in China, where billboards in airports align the image of a French actress with a local car brand. These are so prominent that they must be completely legitimate.

However, recently when in a smaller city in China, I saw large likenesses of Brad Pitt and of Angelina Jolie promoting Chinese herbal products. It is highly possible that some of these ads are unauthorised.

Many people outside of China consider that while there is great progress in the increased sophistication of Chinese government policy on IP issues, the real impetus for enforcement will emanate from Chinese entrepreneurs and companies which are investing in R&D and have patents and products, software and systems, which contain valuable copyright, and which they will seek to defend from potential internal and international compromise.

The 13th Five-Year Plan can give some hope that protection of IP in China is advancing.

The image used for this article is that of a modified and cropped former 100 yuan currency note, for which no copyright has been impinged!

From Our Clients

Quotation Mark

Andrew and his team have supported Foodbank by providing web services for more than a decade.

In fact, they have just undertaken the first complete redevelopment of the original Foodbank website they built for us, and have been maintaining so ably since.

Andrew is creative and passionate and helps us to keep up, constantly looking for new ways to add value and improve our online communications channels.

John Webster
CEO
Sydney, NSW, Australia
Foodbank Australia
Quotation Mark

I recently engaged Digital Tsunami to design and build my 60-page website. I'm a website copywriter who relies heavily on web-generated business, so my own online presence needs to be impeccable.

The solution that Digital Tsunami supplied is brilliant. It meets my needs perfectly; it's clean, bold, elegant, fast, and easy to edit. I've had lots of very positive feedback about it, and since launch, my request for quote rate and conversion rate have increased markedly.

The team at Digital Tsunami was incredibly responsive, delivering a solution well ahead of deadline. Their technical knowledge was exceptional, they were innovative, and they were very meticulous. What's more, they understood my business and technical requirements and translated them into a user-friendly, refined, professional site which is conceptually simple and cohesive.

I have no hesitation in recommending the website design services of Digital Tsunami to any business .. that needs a stand-out online presence.

Glenn Murray
copywriter
Sydney, NSW, Australia
Quotation Mark

Thanks very much for the speed & professionalism with which you continue to service our needs, despite the fact that this is provided pro bono !

Your ongoing generosity in donating the services of Digital Tsunami to Foodbank is appreciated more than you know. We, and the 30,000 people a day you help us feed, are indebted to you.

Bronwyn Boekenstein
CEO
North Ryde, NSW, Australia
Quotation Mark

I don't know what you do, but you do it well.

Aimee An Duffy
Chantrepreneur
Gwynedd, Wales
Quotation Mark

I have enjoyed working with you on this important project and have been particularly impressed by your company's professionalism. The speed and accuracy of your work has been first rate and your creative input has been instrumental to the success of the project.

Chris Gordon
Communications Manager
Hong Kong
Leighton Asia
error: We appreciate that you value our content. You are welcome to link to this page, but content is copyright protected.