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Cyber Espionage: is China playing a fair game?

Originally posted on LinkedIn

As continuous tariff increases and sanctions between two key powers, namely US and China, one wonders what will be the game plan for the likes of the superpowers moving forward. China is well known for its ability to take virtually any commodity and re-design, re-engineer and re-develop it for the world. At times it does so by innovating on existing products and defying intellectual property rights, much to the dismay of its western counterparts. In fact, it is estimated that intellectual property infringement by China in the US alone costs between $225b and $600b annually.

Some years ago, whilst living and running my own business (an International School) in Guangzhou in the south of China, I was asked to present on this very important topic by providing evidence of whether China is playing a fair game. Sadly, the answer is still no – and nothing much has changed despite China’s official membership to the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) since 1995. Some argue that TRIPS does not explicitly address economic cyber espionage for commercial or trade gain, although by creatively interpreting and applying the terms of TRIPS, an effective international legal remedy to commercial cyber espionage is possible.

Escalating tariffs and avoidance of payment of royalties due means that, ultimately, the losers are the public. China’s pockets run deep and the US will be well advised to take matters seriously.

You can find my former presentation here or access it from the Rootcon website at Cyber Espionage – How to sell a country in…17 days!


  • Morris Fedeli

    Morris D Fedeli is a semi-retired practitioner and doctoral researcher at the University of Southern Queensland, Australia, with three decades of industry experience in helping organizations achieve success through the application of new emerging innovative business models and technologies. As a pracademic, he offers a unique Australasian perspective, with experience across three continents and degrees in science, business and project management. His research interest and passion lie in sustainable business innovation strategies for a prosperous society and thrivable future.