Documenting Chinese Commercial Espionage |

This adds up to a disturbing conclusion: China’s manufacturing rise has been illegally aided. Many advances are certainly due to the PRC’s own strengths; others stem from voluntary cooperation by foreign partners. But it is all too easy to find examples of Chinese theft that correspond well to spurts in manufacturing capability in advanced electronics, energy, autos, etc.

A Disturbing Trend

2001: Two people funded by state-owned Datang Telecom indicted for stealing secrets from Lucent.[1]

2002: Two people funded by Hangzhou city government indicted for stealing secrets from four firms.[2]

2003: PetroChina employee arrested for attempting to steal seismic imaging software from Silicon Valley firm (later pled guilty).[3]

2004: Canada’s Nortel discovers that China-based hackers have compromised its entire network.[4]

2005: Chinese national working at U.S. unit of Dutch firm AkzoNobel begins stealing material needed to replicate advanced industrial coating.[5]

2006: Two people indicted for stealing proprietary information from auto parts maker Metaldyne and seeking to pass it to Chinese firms.[6]

2007: Chinese national employed by Dow begins transferring trade secrets to Chinese government-controlled institutes.[7]

2008: Former DuPont employee picked by state-owned Pangang to make titanium dioxide, supposedly using DuPont production method (later pled guilty to espionage).[8]

2009: Ford Motor employee arrested for stealing trade secrets—later found guilty—supposedly on behalf of Beijing Auto.[9]

2010: Dozens of multinationals disclosed as targeted in China-based hacking of Google.[10]

2011: American Superconductor sues top Chinese turbine maker Sinovel for stealing software used to drive wind turbines.[11]

2012: NSA director acknowledges that China-based hackers compromised a company that provides computer security services to defense firms such as Lockheed Martin.[12]

[1]News release, “New Indictment Expands Charges Against Former Lucent Scientists Accused of Passing Trade Secrets to Chinese Company,” U.S. Department of Justice, April 11, 2002, at (accessed April 9, 2012).

[2]News release, “Pair from Cupertino and San Jose, California, Indicted for Economic Espionage and Theft of Trade Secrets From Silicon Valley Companies,” December 4, 2002, at (accessed April 9, 2012).

[3]Rachel Konrad, “Chinese Man Sentenced to 2 Years for Silicon Valley Fraud,” Associated Press, December 18, 2004, at (accessed April 9, 2012).

[4]CBC News, “Nortel hit by suspected Chinese cyberattacks for a decade,” February 14, 2012, at (accessed April 9, 2012).

[5]Ann Woolner et al., “The Great Brain Robbery,” Businessweek, March 15, 2012, at (accessed April 9, 2012).

[6]David J. Lynch, “FBI Goes on Offensive Against China’s Tech Spies,” USA Today, July 25, 2007, at (accessed April 9, 2012).

[7]News release, “Chinese National Pleads Guilty to Economic Espionage and Theft of Trade Secrets,” October 18, 2011, at (accessed April 9, 2012).

[8]Karen Gullo, “Former DuPont Worker Pleads Guilty in Economic Espionage Case,” Businessweek, March 2, 2012, at (accessed April 9, 2012).

[9]China Daily, “Ford Engineers Yuxiang Dong China Steal Secrets Jailed for 70 Months,” April 14, 2011, at (accessed April 9, 2012).

[10]Kim Zetter, “Google Hack Attack Was Ultra Sophisticated, New Details Show,” Wired, January 14, 2010, at (accessed April 9, 2012).

[11]Ed Crooks and Leslie Hook, “American Superconductor Sues Chinese Group,” Financial Times, September 15, 2011, at (accessed April 9, 2012).

[12]Jason Mick, “NSA: China Is Destroying U.S. Economy Via Security Hacks,”, March 28, 2012, at (accessed April 9, 2012).

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