(Yicai Global) June 4 -- The European Union has lodged a complaint with the World Trade Organization about China's practice of obliging foreign firms wishing to do business in the country to transfer their technology rights. The US has also forcefully criticized the policy.
European companies coming to China are forced to grant ownership or usage rights to their technology to domestic firms and are deprived of the ability to freely negotiate market-based terms in tech transfer agreements, the European Commission said on its website.
China regrets the EU's action, but promised to deal with the matter according to the WTO's dispute settlement process, the commerce ministry said. The government has always given priority to the protection of intellectual property rights and has taken effective measures to protect legitimate rights, with some effect, said a senior official at the Department of Treaty and Law.
The US filed a complaint over China's alleged theft of its companies' intellectual property in March. Washington said on May 29 that it would impose tariffs on USD50 billion of imports from China unless Beijing addressed the issue.
China is the top concern for IP rights protection, as more than 80 percent of seized counterfeit and pirated goods destined for the European Union come from China or Hong Kong, the EU commission said in a separate statement on its website.
Editor: Emmi Laine