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HomeNewsIndustrial Espionage: The Means By Which China Obtains Us Technological Secrets

Industrial Espionage: The Means By Which China Obtains Us Technological Secrets

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It was a seemingly innocent photo that ultimately led to Zheng Xiaoqing’s demise as a former employee of energy giant General Electric Power.

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The US resident allegedly concealed sensitive documents taken from his colleagues in the binary code of a digitized shot of a sunset, which Mr. Zheng subsequently sent to himself, in accordance with a Department of Justice (DOJ) indictment.

Steganography, a method of concealing a data source within the code of another data file, was the approach used. Mr. Zheng used it numerous times to steal private material from GE.

A multinational business, GE produces everything from refrigerators to airplane engines and is well-known for its efforts in the healthcare, energy, and aerospace industries. Zheng stole data pertaining to the development and production of steam and gas turbines, as well as windmill blades and seals. It was delivered to his collaborator in China and was thought to be worth millions. In the end, it would be advantageous to the Chinese government, businesses, and educational institutions.

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This month, Zheng received a two-year prison term. It is the most recent in a line of related cases that US authorities have pursued. Chinese national Xu Yanjun, who is thought to be a career spy, was given a 20-year prison term in November for planning to steal trade secrets from multiple American aerospace and aviation businesses, including GE.

It is a small element of a larger conflict in which the US tries to stop China from becoming a significant rival to American dominance while China tries to acquire technological know-how to fuel its economy and its threat to the geographical order.

Because it enables nations to “leapfrog up on global supply chains very fast – and without the disadvantages, both in terms of time and money, of relying exclusively on local capabilities,” Nick Marro of the Economist Intelligence Unit told the BBC, trade secret theft is alluring.

During a gathering of corporate executives and academics in London last July, FBI Director Christopher Wray declared that China intended to “ransack” the copyrighted material of Western businesses in order to hasten its own economic development and eventually control many important industries.

From Fortune 100 corporations to start-ups, people who focus on everything from aviation, to AI, to pharma, he warned that it was spying on businesses worldwide.

Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry at the moment, claimed Mr. Wray had been “smearing Beijing” and had a “Cold War mindset” at the time.

“China Wants To Undermine Our Prestige,”

China Wants To Undermine Our Prestige Industrial Espionage

According to the FBI’s Alan Kohler Jr., China was allegedly targeting “American inventiveness” and attempting to “topple our status” as the world’s leading power in the DOJ statement on Zheng.

Engineer Zheng, who specialized in turbine sealing technology, worked on a number of leakage containment techniques for steam turbines. Such seals improve the operation of the turbine “whether by enhancing power or efficiencies or prolonging the useable life of the engine,” the DOJ stated.

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The growth of China’s aviation sector depends heavily on the development of power plants, which power airplanes.

Bottom Line

The Chinese government has set ten industries, including aerospace and aviation equipment, for rapid development in order to lessen and eventually replace China’s reliance on imported technology.

But, a variety of other industries are also being targeted by Chinese industrial espionage.

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