Riding the Chinese tiger, not the copycat

As Australians fear China might use Huawei investment in NBN to spy on their country, Kiwis have other concerns about trading with the dragon.

As Australians fear China might use Huawei investment in NBN to spy on their country, Kiwis have other concerns about trading with the dragon.

A group of New Zealand technology firms took part in a government trade mission to Beijing last week.

Though there was excitement about the massive potential such ventures offer, there were also fears over piracy and theft of intellectual property.

Some New Zealand businessmen with long established ties with China have reportedly already fallen victim.

Mike Aickin says two of his restaurants there were copied.

"They didn't just take the style [of restaurant], they tried to take the staff as well," he told Stuff.co.nz. "But there's not a lot you can do. You just have to have a bloody good product and keep coming up with new ideas."

John Cochrane, general manager at Christchurch-based firm Commtest, told the site that he took preventative action, securing patents and getting advice from intellectual property lawyers.

Certainly, China has a reputation for knock-offs. There are fake iPhones and iPads, with some products arriving before the official genuine article.

Chinese companies even fall victim to home-grown piracy, and keep a close eye on their staff.

Now, the Chinese Government may claim to be tackling the problem, but many say it is or was actively involved in intellectual property theft to help China's rapid industrialisation.

Indeed, no longer is it just a matter of fake Gucci handbags and software, but instead even Russian fighter jets and Rolls-Royce cars.

And considering how Huawei has admitted to copying Cisco in the past, Australians may be right to be concerned. Fears over Huawei certainly seem commonplace overseas.

Newsletters

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
See All
See All