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FBI releases movie on China’s plan to steal US technology

Xi Jinping speaks to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Oct. 28, 2017. (Ma Zhancheng/Xinhua/Zuma Press/TNS)
April 28, 2022

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released a short film last month on China’s plan to steal U.S. technology to achieve “global market domination.” The film urges the American private sector to safeguard their intellectual property against what the agency described as the Chinese Communist Party’s “sustained and ongoing industrial espionage.”

Created by the FBI’s Office of Private Sector, Counterintelligence Division and Training Division, the 30-minute film, “Made in Beijing: The Plan for Global Market Domination” published March 7 aims to “sound the alarm” on China’s ongoing effort to become “a high-tech, global powerhouse by the year 2025.”

“In a world of global adversaries, the People’s Republic of China stands at the forefront with its sustained and brazen campaign of industrial espionage, posing the single greatest threat to our freedom, national security, and economic vitality,” the FBI said in a statement on the film. “Made in Beijing: The Plan for Global Market Domination sounds the alarm, helping private sector partners recognize the urgent need to protect their crown jewels against industrial espionage.”

According to the film, experts believe the Chinese Communist Party’s ultimate goal is to “control entire supply chains and manipulate global and domestic market conditions,” but the FBI’s greater concern is the Chinese Communist Party’s state-sponsored funding of the effort.

“We’ve now reached the point where the FBI is opening a new China-related counterintelligence case about every 10 hours,” FBI Director Christopher Wray says in footage used in the film. “China is engaged in a whole-of-state effort to become the world’s only superpower by any means necessary.”

The film tells the story of multiple companies that were targeted by China, including the energy technologies business American Superconductor, which had its secret source codes stolen by a spy working for the Chinese company Sinovel.  

In American Superconductor’s case, the company sued Sinovel for the data theft, but China’s courts dismissed it, claiming that the stolen source codes were a “Chinese National Security Secret.”

“The Chinese government is like a giant company that’s posing as a country, and, you know, they’re fighting this economic war and they’re using all of the tools, you know, at a nation’s disposal,” said FBI Special Agent Roman Rozhavsky. “And they’re using all of these things to compete against U.S. companies, which are limited to traditional business tools, right, where all they can do is have a better product. And it’s really difficult to compete against all of that.”

The FBI said that the Chinese Communist Party is hoping to overtake the U.S. as the world’s number one economy within a decade.  

“Our advice is: Be careful, protect your key data, protect your trade secrets, and just understand that it’s the Chinese government’s long-term strategy that they want to monopolize all of these industries, which means they want to eventually put you out of business,” Rozhavsky warned.