China’s Smartphone Addiction and IPR for App Developers

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8585049088_9d1dbcdf1f_kIn 2014 China’s iOS App downloads surged with a 30% increase in quarterly downloads between Q1 2014 and Q1 2015. This rapid growth, stimulated by the release of the iPhone 6 and heavy investment in Apple’s retail presence in the country, has pushed China to the top spot for App downloads worldwide[1].

Asia is leading a mobile revolution, replacing older, less transportable technologies with a ‘mobile-first’ tech culture. Smartphone penetration in China is far deeper than anywhere in the West, many new users skipping desktop computing entirely in their adoption of smartphones and tablets[2]. In China alone it is estimated that there are more than 700 million active smartphones and there is still potential for further growth as lower cost alternatives increasingly cater for the lower end of the market.

These statistics, coupled with recent developments in Chinese mobile user payment structures makes China a very attractive market for existing and potential app developers, with content creators flocking to take advantage of the newly minted market.

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E-commerce Law in the works

creative picture3The internet has become a popular and easy channel for product distribution around the world. It has created a marketplace of more than half a billion users in China, more than a third of the world’s total online population, and is still expanding. Apart from being a forum for legitimate vendors and original products, the internet is also used by businesses as a platform for the distribution of counterfeit goods which infringe intellectual property rights (IPR).

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Alibaba – Who is responsible for keeping out the counterfeits?

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Alibaba_Chinese_logoChinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is back in the news this week, but with less fanfare than its biggest-IPO-in-history success story back in September. It has been criticised in a report from the State Administration of Industry & Commerce (SAIC) over hosting the sale of counterfeits, among other illegal trading issues. Data from the SAIC suggests 63% of listed brand goods on the site are not genuine – no insignificant number to be sure. This has kicked-off a battle between the SAIC and Alibaba, with counter-statements from the company and a number of accounts of alleged infringements emerging from both sides.

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SME in the Spotlight: Vogmask

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For many foreign SMEs that produce consumer goods e-commerce is the best way in to the Chinese market, offering a B2C channel that is relatively cheap and easy to setup and maintain. Naturally, trading on the web comes with risks, but just a few key steps are necessary to ensure a basic safe strategy. In this ‘SME in the Spotlight’ post an anti-pollution mask producer shares their experiences of doing business in China….

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