An interesting dichotomy has surfaced of late in regard to how our world-dominant technology sector has been infiltrated by, among others, China. Both willingly and unwillingly on our part. Let us begin by examining how this intellectual property transfer/theft is ostensibly given to the Chinese by American corporations looking to tap a new market of 1.4 billion consumers. What is dubbed “forced tech transfer,” requires U.S. companies to share their proprietary technology with a Chinese counterpart in order to be allowed access to these markets. Case in point; Tesla. Tesla has invested billions of dollars on cutting edge technology, and is justifiably reticent to share this information with the Chinese.
On a side note, one must surmise that for all intents and purposes, the United States, under our entrepreneurial style democracy, has created and invented more products and services than any other nation in the history of civilization. While we are inventors, the Chinese are innovators, with great ability to reproduce technology and even advance it once presented to them. So the issue really is, do we desire to give China access to multiple technologies that they otherwise would not be able to develop on their own in return for access to profits.
In addition to joint ventures with the Chinese, any American company that produces data via its product, such as an individual’s personal information collected through an app, must get approval from the Chinese government to access their own data, and such information must stay in China and cannot be brought back to the U.S. American companies engaged in research and development in China, must share their new technology with the Chinese. Another way intellectual property is passed along. President Trump calls all this unfair trade and wants it to stop, even though U.S. companies for decades have willingly agreed to the rules of Chinese trade.
On the more sinister side, a Chinese dissident has said that there are more than 25,000 spies in the United States. This information comes from billionaire business magnate Guo Wengui, a dissident who fled China in 2015. Guo states, “I know the Chinese spy system very, very well. I have information about very minute details about how it operates.” While the fore mentioned intellectual property transfer was in reference to U.S. corporations, what Guo is referring to is offensive spying, which includes obtaining military technology, buying U.S. officials and their family members and penetrating our Internet systems with malicious software.
It is said by Guo and others with knowledge, that China uses the family members of its spies to essentially blackmail them into submission. According to these sources, the Chinese routinely hold the families of spy’s hostage to make sure they deliver the information that is demanded. As we know, a free economy such as ours is openly exposed to such attacks. The same could never happen in communist China. This is why Guo allows his some $17 billion in assets to remain frozen in China. He hopes to move China to a more democratic country with these efforts. Americans can be lulled to sleep by a seemingly consumer based society in China. They buy cell phones and enjoy some of the same luxuries of American citizens, but as Guo suggests, don’t be fooled by this. The Chinese move slowly in most matters, keeping an eye on the long-term prize, which may be the demoralization and demise of Western democracy.