Japan, the United States, and the EU have become upset to the point of pondering a joint World Trade Organization (WTO) case against China (PRC) over what they claim is “forced” technology transfer when their companies enter the Chinese market. While China’s leadership has denied the accusation, a concern highlighted by US President Donald Trump’s comments on China (for example here) is becoming an international concern.
The policies in place in China right now require that foreign companies must partner with Chinese companies and share their technology with them. Japan, the US, and the EU charge China with discriminating against foreign companies in this manner and violating the WTO’s principles of conduct.
If a case is filed with the WTO and further discussions do not lead to an agreement, then the WTO may arbitrate a settlement. If it decides against China, the WTO would be able to “urge China to take corrective steps,” according to the Daily Yomiuri, but it is not clear how effective this would be.
Inventors, applicants, and corporations involved in work in China will want to be aware of how their ideas may be spread and used in China, and hopefully see a positive resolution for those involved in the near future.
Daily Yomiuri, “WTO case eyed over China’s forced technology transfers,” February 15, 2018.