John Naughton of the Guardian writes in an article explains why China has such little respect for Intellectual Property rights which has affected RIM aswell with Unicom’s blatant ripoff, the Redberry.
The reasoning is simple: even if the Chinese wished to respect intellectual property (a big ‘if’), they simply could not do it. This is because IP requires a culture of laws and adherence to them, plus an infrastructure of courts, legal services and all the other paraphernalia of litigation and enforcement. Neither the culture nor the legal infrastructure exists in China, and it will take decades to build. Even if China’s rulers wanted to transform their territory into a society which respected intellectual property, they simply could not do it on any realistic timescale.
Naughton coins the term “brand piracy” in the case of Redberry, the push email service launched by the state-owned Unicom. With such a similiar name, consumers may think that the two services are almost identical, other than the one from RIM which will have to cost 5-10x more to recoup RIM’s investment in China.