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China to increase IP rights trials

China plans to increase the number of intellectual property rights (IPR) trials held each year as part of an attempt to stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship, Chinese government-run news agency Xinhua has reported.15 Mar 2017

China opened four new IPR tribunals last year, in Nanjing, Suzhou, Wuhan and Chengdu to manage cross-regional IPR cases. China has three national IPR courts in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, Xinhua said, citing a work report due to be delivered to the National People's Congress by chief justice Zhou Qiang.

Last year, 29 provincial-level regions also set up information sharing platforms for law enforcement and criminal justice to crack down on IPR infringement and fake products, it said.

Chinese courts concluded around 147,000 IPR cases in 2016, according to the report.

Alibaba founder Jack Ma wrote an open letter to the Chinese government last week asking it to treat counterfeiting as seriously as it does drunk driving.

The lack of deterrents to creating fake goods is stunting China's innovation, hurting its reputation and threatening the country's future, he said.