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Wuhan Shuts Down Last Big Audio, Video Market

Xinhua, 31 August 2001

WUHAN, August 31 (Xinhua) -- The last large audio and video products market in Wuhan, capital of Central China's Hubei province, was shut down Friday as part of a nationwide move to rectify cultural markets and protect intellectual property rights.

Wuhan Municipal Government announced the decision Friday at a large rally at the city's top audio and video marketplace on Qianjin-Baoshenglu Street.

Law enforcement departments have confiscated over 1.1 million copies of illicit audio and video products during the January- August period.

Jiang Changzhong, director of the Hubei Provincial Cultural Department, said all the big free markets for audio and video products will be closed down throughout the country.

They will be replaced with audio and video chain stores, supermarkets, and electronic commerce is also encouraged under the newly-introduced policy, said the director.

Analysts say the move will make it easier for the government to clamp down on such illegal activities as producing and selling pirated, contraband audio and video products and pornographic products.

The move is the latest attempt by the Chinese government to root out the rampant infringement of intellectual property rights.