Barriers to Criminal Enforcement Against Counterfeiting in China

28 Pages Posted: 11 Aug 2021

See all articles by Daniel C. K. Chow

Daniel C. K. Chow

Ohio State University College of Law

Date Written: August 9, 2021


Multinational companies (MNCs) with valuable trademarks in China seek criminal enforcement against counterfeiting because other available avenues of relief, such as administrative and judicial remedies, have proven to be ineffective. While MNCs prefer enforcement through China’s Police, the Public Security Bureau (PSB), many MNCs are also unaware of the significant hidden dangers of using the PSBs.

Most MNCs will delegate enforcement of trademark rights to their Chinese subsidiaries. These subsidiaries are known to make illegal payments to the PSB that may violate the laws of the PRC as well as the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. These acts expose MNCs to draconian penalties under PRC law and the FCPA. MNCs can be unaware of these illegal practices because many MNCs organize their business structures and intellectual property (IP) management strategies in ways that shield MNCs from review of some of the on-the-ground actions by their Chinese subsidiaries. This Article exposes these risks, explains how some of these risks arise, and makes suggestions on how MNCs can structure their business organizations and IP management structures in China to eliminate or mitigate these risks.

Keywords: United States, China, Multinational companies, counterfeiting, Public Security Bureau

JEL Classification: K14, K33, K4, K42

Suggested Citation

Chow, Daniel Chee King, Barriers to Criminal Enforcement Against Counterfeiting in China (August 9, 2021). Ohio State Legal Studies Research Paper No. 642, Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law, Forthcoming 2022, Available at SSRN: or

Daniel Chee King Chow (Contact Author)

Ohio State University College of Law ( email )

55 West 12th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
United States
614 292-0948 (Phone)
614 292-3202 (Fax)

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