Dec 5, 2018

Between the lines: China's move on intellectual property theft

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

With the flourish of a significant concession, China said today that it will punish companies and individuals who steal intellectual property, a primary U.S. complaint. But China hands are skeptical.

"What they’ve done in the past is fail to enforce or, when they have to enforce, find somebody they don’t like, blame them, and then say to the Americans, 'See?'"
— Jim Lewis of the Center for Strategic and International Studies

The backdrop: Over the years, China has routinely batted away allegations of government-backed IP theft as hearsay, even when among the things stolen were plans for the F-35 fighter jet and a supersonic U.S. undersea missile.

The Xi-Obama agreement was good as far as it went, but it did not go far enough, says Samm Sacks, a cyber policy fellow at New America, a think tank.

  • One major omission: The deal omitted a separate issue — forced technology transfers through which Beijing compels U.S. companies to share secrets with Chinese partners in order to gain access to China's massive market.
  • Sacks expresses doubts that the transfers will stop.
  • "I have not seen any indication from the Chinese side that this is an issue that they have any plans to address," Sacks says.

Go deeper: Why Chinese theft of U.S. tech is hard to stop

Go deeper

The race to catch Nike's Vaporfly shoe before the 2020 Olympics

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Four months ago, on the very same weekend, Eliud Kipchoge became the first human to run a marathon in under two hours, and fellow Kenyan Brigid Kosgei shattered the women's marathon record.

Why it matters: Kipchoge and Kosgei were both wearing Nike's controversial Vaporfly sneakers, which many believed would be banned because of the performance boost provided by a carbon-fiber plate in the midsole that acted as a spring and saved the runner energy.

Reassessing the global impact of the coronavirus

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Economists are rethinking projections about the broader economic consequences of the coronavirus outbreak after a surge of diagnoses and deaths outside Asia and an announcement from a top CDC official that Americans should be prepared for the virus to spread here.

What's happening: The coronavirus quickly went from an also-ran concern to the most talked-about issue at the National Association for Business Economics policy conference in Washington, D.C.

Tech can't remember what to do in a down market

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Wall Street's two-day-old coronavirus crash is a wakeup alarm for Silicon Valley.

The big picture: Tech has been booming for so long the industry barely remembers what a down market feels like — and most companies are ill-prepared for one.