A special task force was recently created to specifically crack down on unauthorized uses of the Disney logo and other forms of copyrighted material in China. Five hotels in China were fined for unauthorized use of the Disney logo advertising themselves as affiliated with Shanghai Disneyland.
Get used to stories like this. The Chinese government is known for looking the other way when it comes to copyright infringement. As covered in a recent article here at Theme Park University, it’s estimated that 40% of Disney products sold in 2014 were unauthorized by the company. Bootleg DVDs, knock-off merchandise items and even uses of the logo are used all over China without permission.
A business regulator known as the Shanghai Municipal Administration for Industry and Commerce (AIC) found that the hotels were all owned by the Shenzhen Vienna Hotels Group and had used the Disney trademark logo on their signs and websites without authorization. The hotels were located in Shanghai’s Pudong district, where the theme park is due to open next year.
I suspect that much like Disney has forever made an impact on Times Square in New York by cleaning it up and making it more tourist-friendly, the same will happen in and around Shanghai. Working with local and federal versions of the Chinese government will not only protect their investment, but pave the way for other companies to do business in China and not fear of being ripped off. Hopefully.
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Images Copyright: Shanghai Disneyland, Theme Park University