Printing and imaging giant Canon is trying to come up with a way to avoid taking the bad with the good in China.
Last year, the company's sales in the massive Eastern country grew by 51 percent over 2002--more than double the growth rate in the overall Asia Pacific region (excluding Japan), which itself dwarfs the rate of increase in the United States and Europe, said Fujio Mitarai, president and CEO of Canon.
The country has also become a vital manufacturing hub for Tokyo-based Canon, which has invested $1 billion there to date, setting up eight production plants that pump out everything from printers to office copiers. Mitarai officially opened on Friday the largest of these facilities, a Suzhou-based $100 million factory.
But there's a dark side to the country's vast sales and manufacturing potential: Last year, Canon conducted 363 antipiracy raids with governments around the world--and 243 were in China.
According to Nobuyoshi Tanaka, Canon's general manager for corporate intellectual property, fake Canon goods seized during the operations included machines such as calculators, cameras and photocopiers, along with consumables like inkjet cartridges, laser printer toner and rechargeable batteries
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