China Launches Silk Market Crackdown

July 13, 2007
But fake goods are still on sale.

A notorious Beijing counterfeit-goods emporium has ousted 150 merchants in its latest anti-piracy sweep, state media said July 13, but fake goods with foreign brand names remained openly available. A month-long clampdown by the operators of the Silk Street Market weeded out merchants selling fake brand-name ties, scarves, children's clothes and other goods, the China Daily newspaper reported.

"The move is part of our commitment to doing business while protecting intellectual property rights," said Wang Zili, the market's general manager.

However, many other merchants in the raucous bazaar were seen in recent days openly selling a range of cheap counterfeit goods with Gucci, Nike, Polo and other major brand names.

The popular market -- located just a stone's throw from the U.S. embassy -- has become a symbol of Chinese inaction on reining in its huge counterfeit goods industry in the face of persistent demands by the U.S. and other trading partners. The U.S. in April formally lodged a complaint against China at the World Trade Organization over copyright piracy.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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