Attributable to William Zarit, Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China:

While China has made a great deal of progress in enforcing intellectual property protections in such areas as entertainment media and consumer goods, we are also witnessing unhealthy trends in high-tech industries. These include codified requirements to form joint ventures or provide information for security reviews, or through unwritten requests to hand over technology in return for being able to do business in China. So we hope the Executive Memorandum will contribute to helping level the playing field and building an economic relationship based on fairness and reciprocity.

It’s also important to recognize how such practices undermine China’s own objectives. In AmCham China’s 2017 Business Climate Survey, 45 percent of our members said lack of IP protection was a significant barrier to increasing innovation in China. Improved protection of intellectual property would have a positive effect on innovation, which we believe will benefit Chinese companies as much as foreign ones.

Made in China 2025 and the Cybersecurity Law are just two examples of policy initiatives our members fear will be used to continue to shift the bilateral economic relationship even further out of balance. Both sides should therefore be seeking a relationship based on fairness and reciprocal treatment, which we believe can be achieved through a concerted effort.