Crime and the Black Market in Modern Day China
With a population of approximately 1,203,097,268 people , China, who has the
world's largest population, also has the world's fastest growing black market and
In China, crime rates have been climbing an estimated 10 percent a
year since the early 1980s .
China is a country that is currently experiencing
both political and economic instability.
Economic reforms that have been put in
place by the government
have only widened the income gap, creating a middle class
with money and a lower class of newly poor.
With an ever increasing size in this
gap of income distribution and the relative ease of making money through black
market sales, it is no wonder more and more Chinese are turning to a life of
commonly accepted and profitable crime.
Thomas Jefferson once said, "he who receives an idea from me, receives
instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine,
receives light without darkening me."
Unfortunately, Thomas Jefferson lived in a
He lived in a time when piracy was not as evident and intellectual
property was not worth so much.
In China, the largest crime which is currently
occurring is intellectual piracy.
Unlike the pirates of old who plundered the
merchant vessels and ports of the South China Sea, modern day pirates are more
interested in illegal replication of intellectual rights.
From music compact discs
to computer software to films to best selling novels, The Chinese black market is a
virtual warehouse of
It is estimated that there are at least thirty illegal high tech factories in China
that can churn out over 20,000 optical discs a day.
America's Microsoft estimates
that 98 out of every 100 of its software programs being used in China are illegal
Because of these statistics, and because this only amounts to a small
amount of the estimated piracy which occurs in China, program manufacturers,
worldwide, are lobbying the Chinese government to impose stricter standards and
greater restrictions upon the distribution and sale of illegal intellectual rights.
In July of 1996, investigators from Microsoft led Chinese officials to a plant near
Guilin in Guanxi Province, where they
found 5700 bootleg windows CDs.
had four production lines.
Three of them were operated around the clock.
estimated that this particular plant churned out 20,000 illegal copies of Microsoft
programs a day.
A trade report to Congress from the Trade office cites China as the worst violator
of United States - copyrighted intellectual property.
The report, which came days
after the joint raid on the Guilin plant by Microsoft and Chinese investigators,
blasted China for failing to honor a February 1995 agreement to police production
at its replication plants and mark the software with a source identification code.
In a statement, Microsoft characterized the raid as a matter of luck, not