The simple answer: not many. Speaking for those living in the urban centers I’ve visited (yes, not including rural areas), Chinese young and old tend to ride off the pervasive red-ribboned mandates that decorate their alleyways and markets. I often amiably ask something along the lines of, “So what do you think about that sign?” which in turn prompts a “Nothing much” or a “I don’t pay attention to that” with an occasional “Oh, that’s just from the government. Ignore that!”
Last week, I snapped this photo just slightly southeast of Lao Ximen station. The banner bids farewell to visitors on the way out of a weekend book fair and reads, “Crack down on pirating, protect intellectual property rights.”
The important thing to note here is that this is an all-Chinese book fair — their English-language counterparts get no such similar treatment (to my knowledge). Yet, drumming up attention for protecting IPR is not a policy the current Politburo would readily be pressing if Baidu, the most popular search engine used in China, didn’t recently get called out for publishing reams of pirated literature.
As the legal fiasco plays out, you got to wonder if anyone is really looking to “crack down” on pirating (or even start enforcing IPR for that matter). In all likeliness, I’d bank on all of the hubbub being ignored like an estranged relative on Facebook — a split-second consideration proceeded by an apathetic dismissal.
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