I have enormous respect for the Chinese people and have some close friends who escaped a harsh Communist China years ago. Their large family home in Shanghai was stolen/confiscated by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)--and it has been a generational project getting family members out of that country and into the U.S., where they assumed freedom would reign.
But the pattern of CCP theft continues to this day--even in their land purchases near sensitive military bases. And the problem goes deeper.
Chinese theft of U.S. intellectual property, including counterfeit goods, pirated software, theft of trade secrets and other proprietary information is estimated to cost 225 to 600 billion dollars per year, according to congressional estimates. Close to 20 percent of of our corporations have experienced loss in the past year, while 1 in 3 say it has happened to them sometime during the past decades.
Knockoff Gucci bags, fake Rolex watches and other faux designer products represent Chinese theft that costs designers and manufacturers billions per year. Just open the Amazon app and check out mouse traps. You will see a recent American invention, and then dozens of Chinese knockoffs. The same goes for hundreds, if not thousands of gadgets that may look identical, but which are just more examples of Chinese theft of intellectual property.
In fact, my clever son-in-law, John Thompson, considers cheap tools that break down so easily to made of "Chinesium;" hence, the title of this article. There is a common national tool and hardware store that sells relatively inexpensive tools and equipment, most of which are manufactured in China. Many are knockoffs that are bought by millions--who don't really expect the tools to last for a particularly long period of time. John considers them to be made of Chinesium.
These are things that ultimately and financially cost us all, but are not necessarily life threatening. But there are Chinese thefts of intellectual property that should alarm the entire world. CBS News reports that Chinese hackers took trillion$ in intellectual property from around 30 multinational companies in the past few years. These include blueprint details of fighter jets, helicopters, missiles--as well as formulas for drugs to treat diabetes, obesity, depression and others. Most of these are patented, but they also steal cutting-edge technologies that have not yet been so protected.
Chinese Communist Party (CCP)-sponsored computer theft programs include APT 41 (also known as "Winnti"), which steals huge quantities of information needed to recreate rocket-propelled weapons, missiles and other military ventures. Then you have CCP-backed spyware that pulls financially directed attacks on multinational targets that enhance China's Five-Year Economic Development Plans.
This Chinesium theft hit a small manufacturer of medical testing equipment, Physiologic Instruments, recently. The company manufactures sensitive testing and potentially life-saving equipment that measures reactions in intestinal and lung epithelial cells. Universities and drug manufacturers around the world use this highly sensitive and specialized equipment in cutting edge research for cures to a number of diseases.
One day, they received a call from a research entity requesting repair of a Physiological Instrument device. Steve Thompson, founder of the company and inventor of the equipment, happened to be in the area and went to see if he could take care of the problem. The non-functioning equipment looked like his--except for minor differences in the logo type and color of the casing. The equipment turned out to be a clever Chinese knockoff for which the researchers had spent a good sum of money. And even if the equipment had worked, the results would not have been legitimate and could have had disastrous results. The researcher had bought an expensive knock-off fake that could not be repaired. Dr. Thompson's advice? Contact manufacturers directly--even by phone if necessary.
As for other thefts, consumers should avoid cheaper fakes, made by and of Chinesium. And vigorous multi-national efforts should be made to stop the CCP in their illegitimate thefts and economic takeover. Failure to do so will hamper innovation, cause serious world economic instability, put a number of legitimate companies out of business and potentially cause millions to lose loss of life and freedom.