Insight CEO Ken Lamneck: China's IP protection rules 'have to change'

Josh Budd
clock • 2 min read

Tighter regulations will protect the IP of businesses across the US, Europe and China, claims US reseller's chief executive

China's IP protection rules "have to change" claims Insight CEO Ken Lamneck, who has told CPI that he believes the US-China trade talks will benefit businesses globally in the long run.

Trade tensions between the US and China have been raging since the US launched an investigation into Chinese trade policies in 2017. The US has since imposed a 10 per cent levy on a variety of technology, followed by a larger 25 per cent tariff that came into effect last month.

Major vendors, as well as channel players, have expressed worries that trade tensions between the two economic powerhouses could damage business and create uncertainty in the market.

But Insight's CEO Lamneck (pictured) has told CPI that the trade talks between the US and China will be of long-term benefit to businesses globally.

Lamneck said that China's regulations on protecting intellectual property haven't been strict enough, and the US' intervention will mean tighter rules around protecting the intellectual property of US, Chinese and European companies.

"The US-China situation I think will benefit European and US companies in the long term, because it's all based on one thing, and that's IP protection. By any measure, I don't think there's been enough protection being provided for IP by China, and I think those rules have to change and I think there needs to be a level playing field," he said.

"I think that's going to benefit China in the long term, as they've got some pretty interesting technology. So I do think we'll get to the right place. It's a little bit tumultuous now, but I think once that gets resolved, we'll benefit from clear rules and clear protection of IP."

Lamneck's comments come after reports that systemic IP theft in China costs US companies at least $50bn per year. Furthermore, the US has previously pointed the finger at China for "coercing" businesses to transfer technology and IP to Chinese entities.

"When you look at all the technology that has been compromised or stolen for European companies by China, it's considerable," said Lamneck. "I think getting that straightened out will be beneficial, even though there might be a little bit of short-term pain. I think cooler heads will prevail, and I think it will end up being better for the industry overall."

Lamneck spoke to CPI as part of our upcoming Global Elite 2019 report, a lowdown of the top 100 resellers in the US and Europe, which will be published next week. Look out for our full Q&A with Insight CEO Ken Lamneck, along with other senior executives, in the Global Elite 2019 report.

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