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China to raise penalties on IP theft in trade war compromise

Beijing

CHINA said it will raise penalties on violations of intellectual property rights in an attempt to address one of the sticking points in trade talks with the US.

The country will also look into lowering the thresholds for criminal punishments for those who steal IP, according to guidelines issued by the government on Sunday. It didn't elaborate on what such moves might entail.

The US wants China to commit to cracking down on IP theft and stop forcing US companies to hand over their commercial secrets as a condition of doing business there. China said it's aiming to reduce frequent IP violations by 2022 and plans to make it easier for victims of transgressions to receive compensation.

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The two countries are working towards a partial trade deal and leaving the more controversial issues for later discussions. China's chief trade negotiator spoke last week about its plans for reforming state enterprises, opening up the financial sector and enforcing intellectual property rights - issues at the core of US demands for change in China's economic system.

"Strengthening IPR protection is the most important content of improving the IPR protection system and also the biggest incentive to boost China's economic competitiveness," according to the guidelines. Local governments will be required to implement the strengthening of IP rights, it said.

In May, the US added Huawei Technologies Co to what's known as the entity list in an effort to block US companies from selling components to China's largest technology company. Huawei is accused of being a threat to America's national security, and has denied those claims. BLOOMBERG