In retaliation, the United States and China sharply increased their economic espionage penalty

The bill aimed at theft of trade secrets by foreign entities, while the case of the US citizen with China soared.

China is amending its criminal code to impose severe penalties for the theft of foreign trade secrets, a change that could give Beijing a tool to retaliate against the United States for alleged forced economic espionage.

A bill was put forward for public review until Aug. 16. If passed, the penalty for stealing Chinese trade secrets to benefit a foreign entity would be much stricter than the current three-year sentence for general trade theft.

This new provision will be aimed at any person or company who steals, spies, illegally purchases or provides trade secrets to foreign organizations, organizations and personnel.

"Strong penalties can help China resist the onslaught of foreign economic organizations to capture trade secrets and better protect China’s national interests," the newspaper said. Joint report of procuracies in Shanghai earlier this year.

It also emerged when the world’s two largest economies clashed on multiple fronts, including a significant increase in the prosecution of Chinese citizens over alleged economic espionage activities. in U.S.A.

Some lawyers have said that the new provision in China’s criminal code is a clear response to US espionage cases against Chinese entities.

“Due to the deteriorating relationship between China and the US, I think there will be an increase in US legal procedures for economic espionage cases involving China, so the idea This revision is an obvious response, it is a reciprocal and a standard, ”an expert said.

If an American prosecutes more Chinese in the future, China can do the same under this amendment once it is passed.

The Department of Justice’s "China Initiative" (DOJ), a project launched in November 2018 to investigate and prosecute Chinese companies for allegedly stealing trade secrets, economic espionage and other US law violations, said in a June report, that about 80% of all economic espionage charges against the DOJ allege were actions. espionage is beneficial to the Chinese state.

In an interview with Fox News in June, Fb‌i director Christopher Wray said the agency was having more than 2,000 economic espionage investigations related to Beijing, an increase of about 1,300% of those investigations. Chinese spy investigations in the past decade. He said that China is actively tracking US companies in the top 100 Fortune.

"No country has a broader or more comprehensive threat to our economic security and to our democratic ideas like China," Wray said.

Under the US Economic Spy Act, penalties for theft of trade secrets include fines of up to $ 500,000 for each violation and up to 15 years imprisonment for individuals, as well as a fine up. up to 10 million USD for organizations.

Chinese law does not provide for maximum imprisonment or fines, but according to the Chinese criminal code theory, it can be up to 15 years and include fines that can exceed $ 10 million. , Xu said.

Aaron Wininger, director of the Chinese Intellectual Property Organization in California, said: “The Chinese amendment seems to be a reciprocity clause and I think China wants some prosecution. follow this law once the law is passed ”.

“The significant increase in prosecutions against Chinese nationals in the US, combined with statements from the Trump administration, is likely to encourage China to draft a new provision aimed at buying know-how. Trade secret of foreign citizens, ”he said.

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