In our prediction about ongoing story angles that we expect to generate coverage this year (available here), we said one to watch is:
The rising threat of Chinese businesses, the Chinese economy and the Chinese military.
In the current cover story of Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Michael Riley and Ashlee Vance write, “Inside the Chinese Boom in Corporate Espionage,” a detailed analysis of what they call “The Great Brain Robbery.” There are at least 20 examples of corporate espionage conducted by the Chinese — with support from China’s intelligence agencies. In fact, the article quotes the director of the NSA as saying, “It’s the greatest transfer of wealth in history.”
It’s a fascinating, frustrating look at the costs and risks of doing business in China. What’s amazing is that the US firms cited are major corporations like Apple, Boeing, Dow Chemical, DuPont, Ford, GM, Goodyear, Motorola, Northrup — companies that you would have expected to be able to through resources enough to prevent themselves from being victimized.
We think this will continue to be a story covered by the media — but, strangely enough since it’s an economic issue, not a campaign issue during the remainder of the GOP primary season. (We say that because the cover story did not generate the buzz we would have expected.) How the country deals with China on economic, political and military issues will become even more important through the rest of the decade, and having a thought-out well-crafted policy will be important. So I wonder why that’s not a campaign issue yet.
Actually, after posting this, I found an article from today’s Times, “The Electoral Math of Romney’s Stance on Trade with China,” which provides context to how trade issues with China are being discussed. Worth reading.
Of course, that may change in the fall.
What do you think? Let us know.