Chinese authorities fine Fuji-Q copyright violator

Staff Report

A local Chinese authority in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, has punished the operator of a spooky house for copyright violations involving Japanese amusement park Fuji-Q Highland in Yamanashi Prefecture, NHK reported Thursday.

A fine of 275,100 yuan (¥4.5 million) has been slapped against the Chinese operator, which had opened the spooky house in June for a “limited period” with a name similar to that of Fuji-Q Highland, NHK said.

On its own website, the Chinese operator had posted false promotional phrases, including “Japan Fujikyu” and “Guinness World Records,” the Hangzhou authority was quoted as saying.

Fujikyuko Co., a railway firm that operates Fuji-Q Highland on the foot of Mount Fuji, had requested an investigation into the copycat facility since its opening, according to NHK.

A Fujikyuko spokesman said the firm has been satisfied with the punitive steps taken by the Hangzhou authority, the broadaster said.

Separate from the latest case, similar cases have caused problems in which Chinese amusement-park operators try to draw customers with unauthorized use of popular characters, including Disney characters from the United States and Japan’s Doraemon.

By cracking down on the latest case, China wants to demonstrate its efforts both at home and abroad to protect intellectual property rights, NHK reported.