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Internet Piracy Escalating in China


Chinese officials say the problem of Internet copyright infringement in the country has risen sharply, as an increasing number of Chinese users go online, and they are asking for international cooperation to combat it. VOA's Stephanie Ho reports from Beijing.

New figures published by the official Xinhua news agency Thursday say China now has 210 million Internet users, up from only 620,000 in 1997.

Yan Xiaohong, vice-minister of the National Copyright Administration, says online copyright infringement is also up.

He told reporters the authorities investigated 1001 infringement cases last year, mainly theft of videos and music.

Yan says this is more than the total combined number of online infringement cases investigated in 2005 and 2006.

He says the Chinese government is working to set up the technology to deal with Internet piracy cases more accurately and rapidly.

At the same news conference, senior Public Security Ministry official Gao Feng noted that China's growing piracy problem also has an international dimension. He issued - for China - a rare request for foreign help in battling the problem.

Gao says greater international cooperation is needed to curb the problem of Internet piracy.

Law enforcement is restricted to a border of a country, he says, but dissemination of information on Internet is borderless, and it is difficult for the Chinese police to crack down on servers located in foreign countries.

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