China uncovers almost 1,600 U.S.-related intellectual property infringements this year

BEIJING (Reuters) - China has detected more than 1,560 cases of intellectual property infringement involving goods exported to the United States during two joint China-U.S. crackdowns this year, the Asian giant’s customs agency said on Thursday.

China’s General Administration of Customs released the figure as U.S. President Donald Trump makes a state visit to Beijing, but did not say if it was related to an IP investigation by the United States.

In a statement on its website, the agency said it would “actively promote increased cooperation with customs administrations of all countries and regions to jointly fight and comprehensively manage” intellectual property rights.

The U.S. investigation into China’s alleged theft of U.S. intellectual property is examining claims that the country ignores patent and copyright protections, and forces U.S. companies to turn over technology or enter into joint ventures with Chinese partners.

In September, China’s commerce ministry unveiled a four-month crackdown to protect the intellectual property rights of companies with foreign investors.

Customs officials said Alibaba Group assisted in a recently resolved case involving sales of counterfeit Converse brand shoes valued at more than 1 million yuan.

Converse is owned by Nike Inc.

Another joint China-U.S. campaign in August led to the arrest of 36 suspects and unearthed counterfeit products worth more than 20 million yuan that infringed on brands such as Louis Vuitton, Kering SA’s Gucci brand, Rolex, and Compagnie Financiere Richemont SA-owned Cartier, customs officials said.

Reporting by Lusha Zhang and Elias Glenn; Editing by Sam Holmes and Clarence Fernandez