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Regulating Internet Intermediaries in China: Legal and Empirical Evidence for Better Policy Making

This one-year project is funded by AHRC/Newton Fund as part of the AHRC Centre for Digital Copyright and IP Research in China. Principal investigator is Dr Lingling Wei, supported by Maurizio Borghi, Fabian Homberg and Marcella Favale and in collaboration Professor Shunde Li and Associate Professor Xianjue Luo from the University of Chinese Academy of Science. The project aims at collecting evidence on current practices and possible approaches to online enforcement of intellectual property rights in China. The research will inform policy making on effective and fair mechanisms to address intermediaries liability.

The project addresses the question of how China could develop a regulatory framework that

  • adequately protects IP rights;
  • is compatible with the business models of Internet intermediaries;
  • is responsive to the interests of consumers, in particular the poor; and
  • is consistent with the public interest in economic growth and technology and business innovation.

Accordingly, the project focuses on the interface between the conflicting needs of three relevant stakeholders, namely 1) copyright and trade mark owners, 2) operators of online platforms, and 3) end users.