China-Britain Business Council, International Publishers Copyright Protection Coalition in China sign agreement with Tencent to advance protection of IP on Weixin

China-Britain Business Council, International Publishers Copyright Protection Coalition in China sign agreement with Tencent to advance protection of IP on Weixin

China-Britain Business Council, International Publishers Copyright Protection Coalition in China sign agreement with Tencent to advance protection of IP on Weixin

UK Minister of State for Energy and Intellectual Property, Baroness Neville-Rolfe

(back left) witnessing today’s important signing.

Earlier today, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between Tencent Holdings Limited (Tencent), the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC), and the International Publishers Copyright Protection Coalition in China (IPCC) to further the protection of IP on Weixin, China’s leading social communications platform. More than 806 million people use Weixin and its sister app, WeChat, both in and out of China. The signing was witnessed by UK Minister of State for Energy and Intellectual Property, Baroness Neville-Rolfe, as part of her official annual visit to China.

Key features of the agreement stipulate that:

  • All parties emphasise the importance of IP protection, and the positive step of creating the Weixin Brand Protection Platform
  • Facilitation of CBBC and IPCC members to better utilize Tencent’s IP protection systems
  • An “express channel” will be set up to prioritise needs of CBBC and IPCC members within Mainland China.
  • The parties will work together to explore offline cooperation with law enforcement agencies
  • Stated ambitions around the development of enhanced IP protection mechanisms
  • Support will be provided to Tencent for any construction and improvement of technical and legal measures
  • Regular meetings will be held to discuss systemic improvements on IP protection

Tencent Senior Vice President, General Counsel Brent Irvin witnessed the signing. Signing on behalf of  Tencent was Vice President Victor Jiang. Signing on behalf of CBBC was Executive Director Jeff Astle. Signing on behalf of IPCC was co-chair Kong Yuyan. Ms. Yuyan also serves as Managing Director of BMJ China.

The MOU between Tencent, CBBC and IPCC is the product of shared common interests and objectives regarding intellectual property protection, and was arrived at following extensive communication and exchange. Through the signing of this agreement, the three parties express their intent to work together towards their shared objectives over the coming months and years.

Also joining the signing ceremony were prominent British brand owners, including major luxury fashion brands, Sensodyne toothpaste and innovative household appliance manufacturer Dyson, and producers of well-known engine lubricants. Publishing and information industries represented included RELX Group, BMJ publishing group and Springer Nature.

At the signing, Mr. Astle of the CBBC remarked : “This MOU signing is a significant step in protecting the interests of UK companies in China. There are clear and ambitious commitments on all sides and CBBC are confident about the impact our cooperation will have on the healthy growth of the Chinese internet and social media.”

International Publishers Copyright Coalition of China (IPCC) Chairman Hugo Zhang noted: “Facing the special daily threats of Internet and digital copyright infringement and piracy, the IPCC started to proactively explore cooperation and dialogue with Chinese internet companies in 2011. The signing of this cooperation agreement shows both sides' intent and determination to work more closely together, which undoubtedly sends an intimidating warning against infringing behaviour online. Because many of IPCC's members come from the UK, we're very pleased and honoured that the IP Minister, Baroness Neville-Rolfe, is able to be here to witness this milestone.”

Speaking for The Publishers Association, Emma House, Director of Publisher Relations, said, “We are delighted to be working in co-operation with Tencent on copyright protection. As the international publishing community we take protection of our authors' copyrights extremely seriously, and this MOU is a great start to a relationship with Tencent on action for mutual benefit. We are grateful to the leadership of Tencent for working in partnership with the publishing industry to ensure that customers have access to legitimate published works.”








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Contact Information London

David Martin


T: +44 (0) 20 7802 2015






Contact Information Beijing

Gina Liu


T: +86 (0) 85251111-363


About Tencent

Tencent uses technology to enrich the lives of Internet users. Every day, hundreds of millions of people communicate, share experiences, consume information and seek entertainment through our integrated platforms. Tencent’s diversified services include QQ, Weixin/ WeChat for communications; Qzone for social networking; QQ Game Platform for online games; and Tencent News for information and Tencent Video for video content.

Tencent was founded in Shenzhen in 1998 and went public on the Main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2004. The Company is one of the constituent stocks of the Hang Seng Index. Tencent seeks to evolve with the Internet by investing in innovation, providing a mutually beneficial environment for partners, and staying close to users.

About the China-Britain Business Council

The China-Britain Business Council (“CBBC”) helps British and Chinese businesses and organizations work together in China, the UK and third markets around the world. With over 60 years' experience and experts in 11 UK offices and 15 Chinese locations, operates alongside the British Chamber of Commerce in China, and are strategic partners of the British Government. Its diverse 1,000-strong membership includes some of the UK’s largest and most established companies, many of the UK’s most dynamic and innovative SMEs, as well as leading Chinese firms.

About the International Publishers Copyright Protection Coalition in China

The International Publishers Copyright Protection Coalition in China (“IPCC”) is a non-profit industry association set up by international publishers from different countries in China to protect their interests and promote copyright protection awareness. Currently IPCC has 20 members, including many large-scale and well-known publishers in the scientific, technical & medical (“STM”), education and trade fields. IPCC’s core principles are dialogue, cooperation and finding common interests. Since its inception in 2010, IPCC has won recognition and developed positive relationships with various stakeholders in the publishing industry as well as relevant organisations and agencies from China and the rest of the world. Roughly half of the head offices of IPCC members are located in the UK, and the majority of members have broad and long-standing business activities there.

About Brent Irvin

Brent Irvin joined Tencent, a leading provider of Internet value added services in China,, in 2010.  He is currently Senior Vice President and General Counsel. Prior to joining Tencent, he worked at a leading Silicon Valley law firm, specializing in M&A and technology transactions, with a special emphasis on Internet companies.  He received his JD from Stanford Law School, an MA in Asian Studies from Yale University and a BA in History from Carleton College.

About Baroness Neville-Rolfe

Minister of State for Energy and Intellectual Property

Baroness Neville-Rolfe DBE CMG

Baroness Neville-Rolfe is the Minister responsible for UK national intellectual property strategy and for the Intellectual Property Office (IPO). The IPO is the official government body responsible for intellectual property (IP) rights in patents, designs, trademarks and copyright, for legislation and for coordination of enforcement of IP online and offline. She last visited china as IP minister in September 2014.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe has been honoured by the Queen for her service on the Foreign and Commonwealth Board (CMG, 2005) and for services to industry and the voluntary sector (DBE, 2012).

Career outside politics

Baroness Neville-Rolfe held senior management positions at Tesco plc from 1997 to 2013. She was Company Secretary from 2004-2006 and was an executive director on the main Board from 2006-2013.  

Baroness Neville-Rolfe previously sat on the boards of several major businesses, including serving as a non-executive director of ITV plc and of 2 Sisters Food Group, a large privately owned UK food producer, as a member of the supervisory board of Metro Group, a large German-based international retailer and wholesaler, and on PWC’s advisory Board. FROM 2012-2014 she served as President of Euro Commerce, the pan-European retail and wholesale trade association. She is a member of the London Business School's Governing Body.