To some of the more corrupt Mainland Chinese businesses, what's better than research and developing your own commercial intellectual property or business model? Why, you steal it of course! Why spend billions of U.S. hard currency when one can hire a bunch of cheap computer hackers and work them hard in sweat-shop like conditions to hack and steal US corporate secrets. Its the digitalized five-finger discount rebooted! Where do you think most corrupt Chinese officials or businessmen get all that money to buy French luxury goods by the container load?
Despite the efforts of Snowden, all major nations still conduct cyber-spying for national security purposes to some extent. But the Mainland Chinese government goes one step further by supporting the cyber-spying and stealing of commercial intellectual property rights and trade secrets from U.S. companies that have nothing to do with Chinese national security but everything to do with helping out Mainland Chinese companies get their hands on the latest U.S. corporate intel.
Let's face it, most Mainland Chinese companies need all the help they can get when facing US companies in the competitive market place. Simply put, most Mainland Chinese companies simply cannot compete effectively against their American counterparts in both China and globally. Of course, the Chinese government makes it easy for Chinese firms to copy the business models of many US companies and replicate them within China by making it very hard for foreign firms to compete within China. Did you ever notice that for every successful US company in the global market place, there are at least a dozen operating within China that uses (or copies) their exact business models. There are numerous Chinese companies doing exactly what Amazon, Google, and Yahoo are doing. In fact there is even a Chinese maker of smart phones (that look remarkably similar to Apple's iPhone) who dressed identically as Steve Jobs in one of their Chinese ads explicitly comparing themselves to Apple!
This state-sponsored cyber-stealing of US corporate information became so serious that even President Obama threatened Mainland China with sanctions if they do not get their act together. Last month China and the US signed a cyber-security agreement to stop the whole-sale theft of US trade secrets. But true to the Mainland Chinese preferred way of doing business, before the ink on that security agreement had barely dried than Mainland Chinese hackers (connected with the Chinese government) began hacking into US companies. This is an important lesson to learn for those Westerners thinking of doing business in China: contracts and agreements are a joke in Mainland China. (If you are a Westerner already doing business in China, then I feel empathize with you buddy, I really do.) Only stupid Americans are dumb enough to think that the "law" can protect them from the Chinese government's efforts to rip them off. According to one cyber-security firm who recently issued their findings on the extent of Chinese cyber-theft, a group of Chinese hackers known as “Deep Panda” is linked to the Chinese military. These cute cuddly hackers have been ripping a whole in the wallets of US companies the size of Nanking (the Panda capital of the world) over their illustrious service for the Motherland. Although most attempts of Chinese cyber-theft are thwarted by sophisticated US anti-hacker systems, many US cyber experts believe that Chinese hackers (though dumb) are very persistent (since these hackers have nothing better to do with their time than breaking in and taking Intel’s latest nano-technology. Hey, its better than farming rice back in their village.)
The sad reality is that if your company does not take cyber-security seriously and hopes to invent anything significant or profitable, you better use the type-writer and hire an excellent typist.