US accuses China of cyberspying

Five members of the Chinese military have been indicted by America on charges of stealing trade secrets.

The United States has indicted five members of the Chinese military on charges relating to stealing trade secrets. The information allegedly stolen includes both technical information and internal discussions about strategy and pricing, from firms including nuclear power plant company Westinghouse and solar panel maker Solar World.

The five people accused are based in China and highly unlikely to be extradited to face trial, since China responded by calling the claims "ridiculous". It also said that this represented "double standards" and that China has also been "victims of US cyber surveillance and theft".

What the commentators said

In contrast, "Beijing uses it mainly to help Chinese companies, many of them state-owned, gain access to valuable intellectual property". They then use this information "to climb the value chain as China modernises its economy".

But the line between spying for national security and industrial espionage is often blurred, said David Sanger of The New York Times. "While the NSA cannot spy on Airbus and give the results to Boeing", it can "spy on European or Asian trade negotiators and use the results to help American trade officials".

Indeed, "state-run oil companies are a fascination to the NSA, just as American high-tech firms are a Chinese obsession". The only reason why the NSA doesn't share information with US firms is that "unlike the Chinese, they would not know which companies to help".

Still, while China's espionage "might make sense in the short term", a strategy of "aggressively mixing espionage with commerce is doomed", concluded Bloomberg View. After all, "it's going to have to convince international customers, not to mention foreign regulators, that their products aren't being bugged".

China also needs to realise that "its own companies will face digital intrusions as they become global powers". This means that "helping to build an international consensus about the rules of the game now will help ensure that such disputes don't escalate dangerously".

Recommended

US stimulus checks – will you get one?
US Economy

US stimulus checks – will you get one?

To help fight high inflation and financial hardships, some US states have started to send stimulus checks to support residents. Here’s what you need t…
14 Nov 2022
US inflation drops to 7.7%
US Economy

US inflation drops to 7.7%

Costs for rents increased, but the price of cars, clothes and medical care helped slow the rate of inflation in the US
11 Nov 2022
Why there is still life in the energy bull market
Energy

Why there is still life in the energy bull market

A green power initiative on the Galapagos Islands demonstrates how the renewable energy transition will need to be supported by fossil fuels for some …
4 Nov 2022
Federal Reserve hikes interest rates to 4%
US Economy

Federal Reserve hikes interest rates to 4%

The Federal Reserve continues its battle with inflation with another bumper interest rate hike.
3 Nov 2022

Most Popular

Wood-burning stove vs central heating ‒ which is cheapest?
Personal finance

Wood-burning stove vs central heating ‒ which is cheapest?

Demand for wood-burning stoves has surged as households try to reduce their heating costs this winter. But how does a wood burner compare with central…
29 Nov 2022
Fan heater vs oil heater – which is cheaper?
Personal finance

Fan heater vs oil heater – which is cheaper?

Sales of portable heaters have soared, as households look to cut their energy costs. But which is better: a fan heater or an oil heater? We put them t…
21 Nov 2022
Best regular savings accounts – November 2022
Savings

Best regular savings accounts – November 2022

You can earn an attractive rate on the best regular savings accounts. We tell you the best on the market to take advantage of right now
29 Nov 2022