China Says Piracy Problem Not “Extremely Serious”

China’s Vice Minister of Commerce claims that, following a nine-month crackdown, the country’s piracy problem has been largely resolved. American officials disagree. From Reuters:

Marking the end of a nine-month campaign against intellectual property rights (IPR) infringement with cases worth 3.43 billion yuan ($530 million), Vice Minister of Commerce Jiang Zengwei said the situation had taken a turn for the better.

“You could say that there still exists some problems with China’s IPR, but I don’t endorse the idea that it is extremely serious,” Jiang told reporters at a press conference.

Jiang said police had shutdown 12,854 illegal plants making pirated and counterfeit goods and arrested 9,031 suspects since the crackdown began in late October ….

The U.S. Trade Representative’s office in May listed China as a country with one of the worst records for preventing copyright theft for the seventh year.

Chinese piracy and counterfeiting of U.S. software and a wide range of other intellectual property cost American businesses alone an estimated $48 billion and 2.1 million jobs in 2009, the U.S. International Trade Commission said in May.