It’s not often that a BusinessWeek article title would make a great movie title, but The Plot to Steal the Color White would be sensational. Turns out that making superwhite pigment is a matter of high tech, and the Chinese government recruited a Chinese-Malaysian immigrant, Walter Liew, to steal the technology from Dupont. He recently was sentenced, as was his wife, Christina Liew.
Those of us who follow news like this know that there have been numerous cases, with convictions, usually under confession, complete with copies of messages from China. Once the Wall Street Journal published a list, lengthy but still quite incomplete.
And yet…DOL records show that Dupont hires H-1Bs! Clearly, the industry is upset about such cases, but they dismiss them as the cost of doing business. The H-1B program is that valuable to them. Of course, they maintain that this is because they can’t fill jobs with Americans, but if you believe that, Chris Christie has a bridge to block for you.
To be sure, these cases often include U.S. natives among the perpetrators. That appears to be the case in the Liew incident. But as the article points out,
A 2013 study estimated that China accounted for as much as 80 percent of the $300 billion in losses sustained by U.S. companies from the theft of intellectual property.
Most importantly, note that these immigrants in most cases first came to the U.S. as foreign students, one more reason not to take the “Intels good, Infosyses bad” in setting H-1B policy.