Corporate espionage: Old-fashioned theft is still the biggest problem for foreign companies in China

On January 5th, in a night raid, a gang of criminals broke into a factory near Shanghai owned by Mercury Cable, an American manufacturer of high-voltage equipment. The thieves took not only raw materials but machinery from production lines as well.Who was responsible? Todd Harris, the firm’s American boss, blames a gang led by a former manager at the plant. He claims local police have refused to take action despite repeated complaints, and that former employees and local officials are colluding to “set up a Chinese company making knock-offs.” Cybercrime may be sexier, but the hard reality for companies doing business in China is that old-fashioned skulduggery remains a bigger threat.

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