The American Chamber of Commerce in China and others have warned that Chinese government authorities often demand disclosure of confidential technological information as a requirement of selling into the Chinese market. More than 20% of American companies operating in China have been asked to transfer technology to Chinese partners in the past three years.
The Trump administration should be commended for making cyber-enabled economic warfare a priority in the U.S. National Security Strategy. The president also deserves plaudits for exposing Beijing’s hidden hand in stealing U.S. technology and intellectual property. But protecting America’s critical technology isn’t a job for government alone. America’s private sector needs to work more closely with government to keep sensitive technology out of the hands of a potentially hostile foreign government.
Too many American companies have been too quick to sell out in exchange for access to the Chinese market. Many have been slow to disclose when they’ve been targeted by Chinese hackers in hope of preventing their stock prices from taking a hit. But these are more than business decisions; they are matters of national security.