As China Hacked, U.S. Businesses Turned A Blind Eye
According to an investigation by NPR and the PBS TV-show Frontline, US companies quietly allowed cyber espionage and theft by Chinese state-backed hackers for two decades because their feared “strong action” by the US trade office that would harm the firms financially.
Even though companies were losing millions as a result of intellectual property theft and other cyber crimes, most of them refused to come forward when prosecutors asked them to be plaintiffs in cases against China. In addition, government agencies were hesitant to take action against China. This situation only changed in the last years of the Obama administration. For instance, the US Defense Department didn’t make cyber theft by China a priority until after 2014.
While government agencies are now trying to catch up in addressing these issues, they are “years behind where they could have been if the theft had been openly addressed.”