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China vows to crack down on Internet piracy

China vowed on Sunday to improve the “grave situation” of music piracy in the country, as it hosted the annual music industry event here to learn and exchange ideas with companies from around the world. China has been strongly criticized for its record on Internet piracy in recent years, and a report out this month by the international music trade body, the IFPI, said piracy was responsible for 99 percent of the Chinese market.

On Sunday, a delegation from the Ministry of Culture met a small group of reporters to explain their approach to the problem.

“Web music is booming but we have a lot of issues of illegitimacy and piracy,” said Zhang Xin Jian, deputy director-general of the ministry’s markets administration.

“The illegal downloading and uploading of music on the Internet has been very detrimental to artists, so we feel very sorry about that and it has drawn great attention from the Chinese government,” he said.

On piracy, he said, “I am not sure of the accuracy of 99 percent but I still feel this is a very grave situation in China right now.”

He said the government would look to tighten administrative control on the Internet and would prosecute those behind it.

“This is just our starting point,” he told reporters. “We have just started fighting Internet piracy … but we are very confident that the Chinese government shall be able to get a victory pretty soon.”

Zhang said around 100 Chinese businessmen were in Cannes to learn from others in the industry and to exchange ideas.

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