back to article Report: China IP theft now equal in value to US exports to Asia

China is responsible up to 80 per cent of US intellectual property theft, which a government report has estimated accounts for $300bn in lost exports, roughly the equivalent of the current American trade balance with Asia. "Unless current trends are reversed, there is a risk of stifling innovation, with adverse consequences …

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  1. John Pattenden
    Facepalm

    What IP?

    All the tech on my desk, down to the cat5 cable has a "Made in China" sticker on it.

    They already know how to make the real thing for US companies. Their fakes are the real thing without the designer label. Greedy global electronics companies gave away the knowledge when the jobs went to cheaper labour.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: What IP?

      Pretty much.

  2. Chairo

    $107bn in additional annual sales?

    That is higher than most other countries' GDP. It will be difficult to convince China, that this is not a good strategy. On the other hand - if they plan to go any (objective) third party council, their numbers should better be waterproof. If they are calculated in the same manner than RIAA's, it might rather cause amusement in the middle kingdom.

  3. Notas Badoff
    Windows

    Attacks always go well

    "If counterattacks against hackers were legal, there are many techniques that companies could employ that would cause severe damage to the capability of those conducting IP theft."

    If the efforts of private actors go as well ((badly)) as those of government actors, this would degenerate into a free-fire zone where no one can tell who or what actually got attacked by the "return fire".

    Would you really trust a BAE or GE to know a joe job misdirection from a real attacking source? Do you really want to give a government entity (say China) proof that they were attacked by a (bamboozled) <insert Western pigfarm here>, thereby giving them the further justification to continue their own righting of centuries of injustice.

    Show me the instances where enough evidence of attack origination was isolated to take to an international court and win a ruling. Until you've got evidence the level of "here are the pictures of the missiles in Cuba" you aren't going to win, and you'll attack the wrong enemies. (Sorry about the slipup Telenor, no hard feelings, right?)

  4. Dazed and Confused

    more IP to lose

    Of course if we hacked back, then they could watch, learn and "borrow" our hacking IP too.

  5. Paul Crawford Silver badge

    Really?

    Some things that appear to be missing in that report are these:

    (1) WTF are these multi-million dollar companies doing about computer security? If this "IP theft" really is so important why don't they have proper (ideally physical) separation of external (internet) and internal (valuable) networks? Too much cost/trouble?

    (2) Most of the vulnerabilities being exploited are either people or, equally relevant, down to MS & Adobe in the majority of cases. Why is the US gov not penalising them for such a "IP rape" of the nation?

    (3) Last time I looked, IP was covered by patents and trademarks which can be enforced against those who copy it (even if stupidly, e.g. Apple vs Samsung). Are we to really to believe such a huge value of IP is not protected by these established means?

    (4) Considering most US corporations have out-sourced to China already (and the Chinese are smart enough to make most "joint ventures"), and they do so to save money so staff move a lot, is that not also a real risk for your IP? If so, why are they now complaining about the bloody obvious?

    1. DavCrav

      Re: Really?

      "(4) Considering most US corporations have out-sourced to China already (and the Chinese are smart enough to make most "joint ventures"), and they do so to save money so staff move a lot, is that not also a real risk for your IP? If so, why are they now complaining about the bloody obvious?"

      It's because while they quite like the cake they are currently eating, there was this cake they used to have, which also looked nice, and they'd like to have it again.

      1. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: Really?

        ^ This

  6. Yag
    Facepalm

    Wow... just wow...

    "Currently, Internet attacks against hackers for purposes of self-defense are as illegal under U.S. law as the attacks by hackers themselves," the report states. "If counterattacks against hackers were legal, there are many techniques that companies could employ that would cause severe damage to the capability of those conducting IP theft."

    So... if a thief break into your house and steal something, it should be legal to break into the thief's house and take it back?

    As an extreme example : If someone kills a relative of your, it should be legal to kill the murderer yourself?

    Yeah, it should work...

    I also wonder about what they're implying with this "retrieve stolen information."... Does it means the information is 'lost' by the original owner, and they need to get it back, or - more probably - that they should retrieve the exclusivity to this information by destroying the stolen version in the hacker's network... Isn't it "destruction of proof"?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wow... just wow...

      " If someone kills a relative of your, it should be legal to kill the murderer yourself?"

      That is an extreme example... but surely it should be legal for me to track down and take back my goods from a thief?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    US should just knock the annual cost to their economy off what they owe the Chinese, that would soon stop them stealing.

  8. DavCrav

    "Finally, offending companies must be penalized in cases of proven theft, to reduce the financial incentive for crime. This could involve a tariff on Chinese imports amounting to 150 per cent of the estimated value of IP theft and/or the withholding of an equivalent amount from the World Health Organization budget."

    What? What did dying African children do to deserve the WHO budget cut? This is just some attitude that there is "America" and "others". Others have taken money from us! Right, let's cut the budget for others by the same amount. Besides, the US only contributes $110m/year, so won't really make up for things.

  9. Number6

    EMI Body scanner, anyone? A certain large country put up all sorts of barriers that drove EMI into the ground trying to fight patent infringers, which is how it came to have the Thorn stuck in it.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    China's Response

    So what ?

    You use us as cheap slave labour.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: China's Response

      Oh fuck off with all this anti-American nonsense. You do know it's pretty much impossible for western companies to operate in China without contracting the work out or JVs? The Chinese political and business class use their own people for slave labour, the US merely hires them out, same as everyone else.

      If anyone in China is to blame for their 'slave labour conditions' it's their own Government, who purposely keep migrant workers in that position, so global manufacturing is kept centred around China.

      But yeah, keep blaming the US if it makes you feel superior.

      1. ecofeco Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: China's Response

        Don't hate the players, hate the game, eh?

        Nobody FORCED those companies to do business with China, did they?

  11. Anonymous Coward 101

    Okay, how have they valued this IP theft?

    If they are giving high values to the theft of advanced technology, then that is perhaps fair enough. However, I am willing to bet they have used dodgy accounting to massively increase the cost of Lady Ga Ga album pirating.

  12. Schultz
    Stop

    One Question:

    Did they consider IP as in all patented / copyrighted material or did they account for the fact that a lot of this IP might not survive a challenge before court (see: bouncing lists, Java API, ...)? depending on who does the sums, I would expect very different results.

  13. tempemeaty
    Pirate

    Only way to have your IP Not stolen by China is to not make it in China.

    The trouble is that Chinese slave labor is the Crack of modern day Corporate America, they can't beat their addiction to it and their addiction to it is killing them. US Corps are doing it to themselves.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How accurate is this number?

    I mean, the MPAA and RIAA think a single download is umpteen thousand dollars lost... How accurate are these piracy numbers?

  15. Ron Luther
    Trollface

    How much ...

    ... of this 'lost' IP is in the form of faux Oakleys?

  16. Dylan Fahey

    We in the USA are doomed

    Why? Because until our companies learn to rape the chinese like they rape the U.S. consumer, we'll never see a change.

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