The PRC and Intellectual Property Theft

In the absence of any serious legal protections against intellectual property theft in the People’s Republic of China, businesses operating there are engaging more and more in sweeping conference rooms there for bugs and equipping personnel with sanitary burner phones for use while in the PRC.

That’s a start for those willing to put their proprietary information at risk through a business venture inside the PRC or with a PRC-based business anywhere, but it’s inadequate by itself, as illustrated by this bit of naivete by the linked-to piece’s author:

Mr Trump wants China to unwind policies that require auto makers, cloud service providers and others to share technology with Chinese partners for the right to operate here. …for example, operate in 50-50 joint ventures with Chinese partners.
Those technology transfers, however, are distinct from the outright theft some companies say they face.

The distinction is little different from the distinction between extortion and robbery.  President Donald Trump needs to take concrete action to encourage the PRC to eliminate those policies.

Where national security information would be at risk, CFIUS needs to get more active.

Congress needs to take complementary action: perhaps barring companies from sharing their proprietary information, perhaps requiring companies wanting to do business with PRC-based companies or within the PRC to retain a controlling share of any partnership, perhaps other steps, also.

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