A total of 216 people were charged by Beijing prosecutors with harming intellectual property rights last year, the Municipal People's Procuratorate said on Thursday.
With the rapid growth of the internet and development of high-tech industries, "it was more frequent to see suspects who used 'web crawler' software, or python, to infringe others' copyrights last year," Zhang Jiazhen, deputy procurator-general of the procuratorate said at a news conference on Thursday.
In a case handled by prosecutors in Haidian district, for example, a company that took advantage of crawler technology to infringe e-book copyrights was fined 1.5 million yuan ($229,470), Zhang said.
Twelve employees who were involved in the IPR-related crimes were given prison sentences ranging from 18 months to three years, he said.
The number of cases of theft or infringing on business secrets has also been rising in recent years, he added. Procuratorate statistics showed 14 people have been charged with the crime of infringing business secrets since 2019, with some cases relating to key or core business technologies.
Jiang Shuzhen, a prosecutor from the capital's procuratorate, said clarifying what business secrets and content need to be protected is a must.
She also called for businesses to improve security checks.
"Providing more security training for employees as well as enhancing their legal awareness on safeguarding trade secrets are also important and necessary," she added.