“‘Silicon Valley is a hotbed’ of economic espionage, said Don Przybyla,
who heads a FBI counterintelligence unit in San Jose. The valley is
home to many of the estimated 3,000 Chinese front companies nationwide
set up to steal secrets and acquire technology, according to the FBI.”
Does 3000 sounds like an overblown estimate? I think so, but I’m no expert on this area. What’s interesting to me is how this on some levels is a transfer of technology to a less developed country, but on others is an illegal act of espionage.
UPDATE, Dave (a guest blogger over at the Peking Duck) weigh in: “ArmsControlWonk addressed this question pretty definitively last year. The 3,000 number basically arises from a bad game of telephone. The Cox Report stated there were about 3,000 Chinese corporations, and some had links to the PLA or technology acquisition. Cox made clear that some subset was possibly front companies.
But the FBI director Mueller got misquoted, and then it became a bad meme that just won’t die.”