During the four hour conference, which officials have now named the China Initiative Conference, the highest officials of the FBI and the Department of Justice spent a lot of time putting the private and academic sectors of the country on high alert for the threats of intellectual property theft from the Chinese.
The Director of the FBI has indicated that cases of theft by the Chinese have been piling up since 2018, ever since the Department of Justice launched the China Initiative Campaign. This campaign was created in order to counter and investigate the economic espionage by Beijing.
The FBI Assistant Director for the Counterintelligence Division, John Brown reported that this year the bureau has already made 19 arrests for charges of Chinese economic espionage. Last year, the total was only 24. To compare, the total number of arrests for these charges was only 15 in the year 2014.
During the conference, the United States Attorney General William Barr gave a speech urging the allies of the United States to invest in Nokia and Ericsson in order to combat the growing presence of Huawei on the 5G market.
FBI and the Department of Justice have confirmed that it is not just technology that the Chinese are stealing. They are not discriminating when it comes to stealing the intelligence of the United States. They are targeting anything from farming companies to software companies that produce medical devices.
It doesn’t stop there though. The Chinese are also infiltrating the education sector of the United States as well. The education sector isn’t as heavily regulated as the business sector but uses just as much valuable information and technology.
In the last month, the United States charged the Department Chair for Harvard University’s Chemistry and Chemical Biology department for lying about his participation in China’s Thousand Talents Plan.
The talent program is said to seek out and lure Chinese overseas talent and experts into using their knowledge and experience to China and rewards them for stealing proprietary information. Because of the Department Chair’s involvement, the government now fears that work done with United States grants may end up in the hands of the Chinese government.
Currently, the United States FBI and Department of Justice are investigating over 1,000 cases of IP theft by the Chinese government.