The Shanghai city government has fined five knockoff hotels for trademark infringement claiming that the hotels violated the intellectual property rights of the Walt Disney Company. Shenzen Vienna Hotels Group, the owners and operators of the five hotels in question, used unauthorized Disney trademarks on signs and websites, authorities say. The Shanghai Municipal Administration for Industry and Commerce fined each hotel 100,000 yuan, or a little more than $15,000 for the trademark violations.
The fines come in response to the Chinese government’s pledge to protect Disney’s intellectual property rights leading up to the entertainment giant’s grand opening of a new Disney theme park in downtown Shanghai next year. The government is anticipating a slew of fake and knockoff Disney products to flood the market over the next year, as people try to take advantage of the opening of the park.
While Disney is not necessarily new to the Asian market, having opened a Mickey and friends themed resort in Hong Kong in 2005, the $5.5 billion new park will be the first in mainland China and is scheduled to open to the public in Spring 2016.