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Thursday, February 27, 2003

China and New Technologies

I have no idea at all whether the issue between Lucent tecnologies and a number of Chinese citizens has any foundation or not, but for those who have an image of China as a low-end manufacturing supplier, this case and the recent issue between Cisco and its chief Chinese competitor Huawei should give plenty of food for thought. Chinese companies want in on global technology, and however much the intellectual property protection situation may have improved, this still isn't Europe or the US.

US prosecutors are preparing to interview 12 Chinese citizens in an international industrial espionage case after Beijing agreed for the first time to let US law enforcement authorities question witnesses in China. The case involves three Chinese citizens charged with stealing trade secrets from Lucent Technologies, the US telecommunications equipment maker. Scott Christie, the assistant US attorney prosecuting the case in New Jersey, said 11 of the 12 Chinese people due to be questioned next month were employees of Datang, the Chinese company alleged to have received the stolen trade secrets. US officials are not claiming that Datang officials were involved with the conspiracy. The two-year-old case centres on two former Lucent scientists accused of conspiring to steal computer technology with the intention of marketing it in China. A third defendant is accused of helping to set up ComTriad, a US company through which stolen trade secrets were passed to Datang. The technology, which transmits voice and data signals over the internet or private networks, has been discontinued by Lucent.
Source: Financial Times

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