Chinese schools are not allowed to photocopy foreign textbooks after a spate of copyright infringement complaints from overseas publishers.
"All foreign textbooks used in Chinese universities and colleges should be the original edition or the authorized domestic edition," said a circular from the Ministry of Education during the country's latest move to fight book piracy.
Chinese students who have extremely limited incomes have been photocopying complete foreign textbooks recommended by teachers. A photocopied edition only costs a few dollars, and photocopy workshops always enjoy booming business around campus.
It said publishing houses affiliated with Chinese schools can publish domestic editions of foreign textbooks only after they get permission from the foreign publisher.
"School leaders should be punished if illegal copies of foreign books are found in Chinese schools," said the circular.
Foreign textbooks are enjoying increasing popularity on Chinese campus, and have improved the quality of Chinese higher education, said a ministry official.