After nearly 6 months of a trade war waged by the US, China said it will finally punish companies and individuals who conduct intellectual property theft against foreign companies.
As Bloomberg reports, the Chinese government has laid out a total of 38 different punishments regarding IP violations, which could be a “positive step” toward mending the contentious trade relations between the US and China.
In early 2017, the US completed a 7-month investigation finding “hard evidence” that China uses foreign-ownership restrictions on American companies to conduct cyber attacks, with the intent of accessing trade secrets.
The Trump administration began levying tariffs on China in July after the investigation, alleging that China’s policies were causing “multiple billions of dollars” in damage to US companies.
Over the years, China has dismissed claims of government-backed IP-thievery as heresay (even after F-35 fighter jet and US submarine supersonic warfare secrets were confirmed stolen and sold to China), so the vowed crackdown must mean… we’re making some progress… right?
Meh. Experts from the Center for Strategic and International Studies remain skeptical, noting that IP violations have increased since the investigation. The crackdowns, in a sense, feel like the same ol’ song and dance.
According to the center’s own Jim Lewis, “What they’ve done in the past is fail to enforce or, when they have to enforce, find somebody they don’t like, blame them, and then say to the Americans, ‘See?’”