US Firms in China Face Data Theft

At least a quarter of companies that are part of a leading US business lobby in China have been victimized of data theft. This is according to a report released by the American Chamber of Commerce in China. The report came as Washington and Beijing tackle the threat of cyber-attacks.
 Firms

26 percent of members who responded to an annual survey of the American Chamber of Commerce in China said that their proprietary data or trade secrets had been stolen from their China operations. This is an obstacle for business in China.

Mandiant, a US computer security company, said that a secret Chinese military unit is behind the series of cyber-attacks that targeted the United States and took data from more than 100 companies. This resulted to the current word war between Beijing and Washington.

US Representative Dutch Ruppersberger said US companies got estimated losses of more than $300 billion in 2012 alone due to trade secret theft. Most of it was from Chinese hacking. China said the claims lack proof and it was also a victim of hacking attacks and most of it came from the United States.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei described the survey made by the American Chamber of Commerce an irresponsible act. He said that the relevant side doesn’t politicize the trade and financial problems, does more conducive things for the United States and China, and doesn’t exaggerate the issue of online leaks.

The survey was made among 325 members in China last year. Only 10 percent of the respondents said they would use China-based cloud computing services. They cited cyber security issues as one of the reasons for their decision. 62 percent said the blocked internet searches in China impeded their business.

US officials urged China to address the cyber spying and internet attacks against American companies. President Barack Obama tackled the hacking concerns in a phone call with his Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping, in March.

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