China wants to make the tech behind its supercomputers, drones, and rocket simulators harder to steal

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  • China’s military has spoken out in protection of the country’s military and technological innovations by suggesting the country tighten its control over its intellectual property.
  • The military suggested that China needed to create intellectual property rights barriers over its technological developments, like supercomputers, drones, dredgers, and rocket launch simulation technology.
  • The US has launched an investigation into whether China has stolen its intellectual property.

China’s military has suggested the country increase its intellectual property control of military and technological innovations.

In an article in China National Defence News, reported by South China Morning Post, the military said China needed to create intellectual property barriers to its equipment, including supercomputers, drones, dredgers, and rocket launch simulation technology.

According to the Post, the article highlighted that China has made several scientific breakthroughs over the last decade and needed to protect them. Otherwise, the article added, technology could be utilised by a foreign power and may even threaten national security.

“We must work on protecting technology as much as we have on researching and developing it,” the article said.

China achieved numerous scientific breakthroughs over the last year alone, including building the world’s fastest wind tunnel to test weapons, as well as launching test spy drones in a near space area called the “death zone.”

The military said that while many new innovations had been created in China’s private sector, they have not focused on helping protect China’s national security.

“There have been dangerous cases involving some privately owned companies, research institutions and individuals in pursuit of economic interests or academic honour,” the article said.

The military added that the country’s intellectual protection laws lag behind other countries.

“We must work fast to close the gap,” it said.

The US has accused China of stealing its intellectual property

The military’s comments follow an August investigation by the US into whether China stole its intellectual property.

US President Donald Trump instructed the US Trade Representative to look into “Chinese law, policies, and practices which may be harming American intellectual property rights, innovation, or technology development,” and last month said there was a “potential fine” that will “come out soon.”

China has been accused in the past of trying to force companies to give away their intellectual property by spying, hacking, or intimidating companies, an allegation which Beijing denies. One report estimated the cost to the US economy at $US600 billion a year.

Several US tech giants including Apple and IBM spoke out on the topic in October during the first hearing in the US’ investigation. The companies allege China’s rules on inbound investment violate the intellectual property rights of their companies.

China likely sees the US investigation as an act of aggression, because it provides a loophole for the US President to take actions against its economy without consulting with the WTO.

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