Iconic Japanese comic and anime superhero Ultraman is facing an intellectual property battle in China, as an agent complains that 99 percent of all mobile games featuring the character in China are pirated.
Scores of Ultraman-related mobile games started appearing in the Chinese market in the second quarter of 2015, but only three were found to be authorized, according to Shanghai-based company SCLA, the exclusive agent for the distribution of the Ultraman franchise in China.
Ultraman is a popular comic and animated character for those born in the 1970s and 1980s in China, when the series became a hit.
Rampant piracy has caused concern, with the SCLA saying they will launch an investigation into gaming products. The company also hopes to "build a long-term mechanism to counter infringement of intellectual property rights."
The mobile game market is booming in China, with an estimated value of 45 billion yuan (7 billion U.S. dollars) in 2015.
Piracy and counterfeiting remain a challenge despite China's strengthened IPR protection efforts in recent years. Since March 2013, the country has seized 85,000 suspects and effectively contained the spread of such illegal activities.
Public satisfaction with government work in intellectual property rights (IPR) protection rose 4.5 percent year on year to 69.4 percent in China in 2014, according to the China Annual Report against IPR Infringement and Counterfeit.