Firms challenging China on trade issues face cyberthreat, suggests IEMS’ David Zweig

Published on: 2014-05-20


U.S. Justice Department officials and China experts, including IEMS’ own David Zweig, have confirmed China’s role in hacking several companies which have publicly complained about China’s unfair trade policies.

Targeted companies include major international firms in industries as varied as solar panel manufacturing, rare-earth and non-rare-earth mining, and auto manufacturing. China’s alleged hacking obtained highly confidential information on each company, including production technology, cost data, and even the legal strategies with which the companies planned to litigate against Chinese companies.

As David Zweig notes:

“Is China setting new rules, so that if you take them to the World Trade Organization, or if you go to the Commerce Department, then you’ll get punished?” asked David Zweig, the director of the Center on China’s Transnational Relations at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. If so, companies may back off from challenging China, he said.

If China has begun retaliating against companies that seek the enforcement of free trade rules, as the indictment suggests, that could allow Beijing to begin creating an international trading system in which China has more latitude to pursue its own policies, Mr. Zweig added.

Read the full article here: Retaliatory Attacks Online: Firms that Challenge China on Trade Face Cybertheft


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