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Chinese spies target US intellectual property

Taylor Armerding | Aug. 25, 2015
The U.S. economy is losing hundreds of billions of dollars each year to economic espionage, mainly from China, experts say. Some of the problem is political, but plenty of it is due to a ‘stupefying’ lack of security.

He and others, including Quinn, say the economic espionage threat will only get worse. “Foreign adversaries will continue to refine their espionage tradecraft and clandestine recruitment methods,” Quinn said. “The Chinese should be considered formidable adversaries.”

Bancroft said her colleagues agree with that. She said the U.S. can bring economic pressure on China, by not buying stolen goods or products made with stolen property. “China needs to accept that there are easier ways to get such property through manufacturing arrangements.

“Right now we’re tolerating increasing bad behavior,” she said. “What we need is a clear, unwavering, strong counterintelligence strategy that influences China to act responsibly. It is not a technical problem requiring a technical answer; it is a policy question requiring a statecraft response.”


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