MIT: The US crackdown on Chinese economic espionage is a mess. We have the data to show it.

A snapshot of the CCP’s China Initiative to steal US Intellectual Property – an estimated 2% of actual theft. The IP is used to take over companies and industries and weaken the US and our Western allies.

MIT had questions about the DOJ’s pursuit of the China Initiative, so they began digging. Here is what the found:

  • The DOJ has neither officially defined the China Initiative nor explained what leads it to label a case as part of the initiative.
  • The initiative’s focus increasingly has moved away from economic espionage and hacking cases to “research integrity” issues, such as failures to fully disclose foreign affiliations on forms.
  • A significant number of research integrity cases have been dropped or dismissed. 
  • Only about a quarter of people and institutions charged under the China Initiative have been convicted.
  • Many cases have little or no obvious connection to national security or the theft of trade secrets.
  • Nearly 90% of the defendants charged under the initiative are of Chinese heritage. 
  • Although new activity appears to have slowed since Donald Trump lost the 2020 US presidential election, prosecutions and new cases continue under the Biden administration.
  • The Department of Justice does not list all cases believed to be part of the China Initiative on its webpage and has deleted others linked to the project.

The data:

Read more at MIT Technology Review.

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