China is the biggest loser from intellectual property violations that continue to plague the country, US Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez said.
A Reuters report also quoted the US official as saying that China needed to stamp out piracy to build global corporate champions.
Gutierrez, who was speaking in Chongqing at the start of a visit to China to prepare for high-level US-Chinese meetings, said widespread counterfeiting was not only harming US companies but also posing a threat to China's own long-term development, the report said.
A Chinese official conceded the country had rampant copyright piracy but said the problem could not be eliminated overnight, the report said.
Gutierrez welcomed Chinese efforts to crack down on counterfeiting and praised Vice-Premier Wu Yi for taking the lead in tackling what he said was clearly a complex issue.
The report said US music, movie, software and other copyright industry groups estimated they suffered some $2.4 billion in lost sales in China last year because of piracy.
But Gutierrez said China was also bleeding tax revenue as a result of software piracy, the report said.