July 28, 2009:
German industrialists are becoming alarmed at the extent of Chinese industrial espionage. Although similar attempts to hack into German government computer networks got more media coverage, the larger scale Chinese industrial technology thefts are believed to be doing more harm to the German economy. Examples of this are already being seen, as the stolen technology is put to work, producing cheaper versions of German made goods. The industrial espionage is sometimes accomplished by Chinese born engineers going to work for German firms, and eventually making off with valuable technology, manufacturing processes, and business methods and techniques. But more often, the goodies are stolen via Internet hacking. It may take the Chinese several years to master the German technology (like better ways to manufacture car parts, or more efficient methods for setting up and operating factories.) The sudden appearance of Chinese products, in product areas where there were never many, or any, Chinese producers, is usually the first clue German manufacturers have they have been robbed. The Chinese espionage is being described in terms of the number of German jobs (at least 30,000) lost.
Similar thefts have taken place in the United States, and throughout the West. Russia has suffered particularly heavy losses in the area of weapons and heavy machinery manufacturing. There is no organized effort to stop this theft, or to punish the Chinese for what they have already stolen. Russia threatened such actions, but later worked out a compromise with the Chinese.