TOKYO, March 16 (Kyodo) -- The first raid of a counterfeiting operation in China conducted since the U.S.-China copyright protection agreement was signed in February occurred last Thursday, and the beneficiary was a major Japanese company.

Chinese authorities raided seven plants, wholesalers and retailers in Beijing trafficking in counterfeit copies of computer game products made by Sega Enterprises Ltd., the Japanese company announced in Tokyo on Tuesday.

The raid resulted in the confiscation of four truckloads full of pirated computer games and machines valued at millions of yuan, the leading Japanese manufacturer of computer game software and amusement center machines said.

Under intense U.S. pressure which threatened at one point to touch off a trade war between the United States and China, Beijing signed a pact late last month agreeing to crack down on the widespread counterfeiting in China of brandname products.

In weeks leading up to the agreement, Washington threatened to slap sanctions blocking $1 billion in Chinese imports if Beijing refused to take action against the counterfeiters.

In turn, Beijing vowed to take retaliatory action to limit U.S. exports to China, especially of such products as airplanes, computers, and telecommunications equipment, and to freeze further U.S. corporate investments in China, particularly its auto industry.

Throughout the tense negotiations, numerous news reports in Japan portrayed the dispute as stemming from a U.S. attempt to foist its business standards on a foreign country by threatening sanctions.

AP-NY-03-15-95 2149EST

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