Why Is China Accusing Amazon of Piracy?


China’s piracy watchdog the National Copyright Administration is targeting Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), ordering the company to change its operations after it was discovered Amazon had been selling pirated books in the country.

The infractions involve third party businesses that were selling books illegally through Amazon’s site. The anti-piracy group found 36 third party retailers and 20 catalogues featuring illegally distributed books on Amazon.com.

The National Copyright Administration has some demands for the e-commerce giant. First, the 36 retailers identified by the group need to be shut down. Second, Amazon must tighten up barriers-to-entry on other third party sellers. Third, Amazon needs to implement better communication between itself, its third party retailers, and the National Copyright Administration. Lastly, Amazon must start punishing retailers found in violation of copyright laws.

The National Copyright Administration has targeted other U.S. companies, including Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), recently, sending out the message that the Chinese government will not tolerate piracy or other illegal business practices from international firms. The crackdown is also meant to reassure local businesses that China will not give unfair advantages to global giants.