China acknowledges IP theft, hacking problem


China has acknowledged for the first time that the United States has legitimate gripes about IP theft, forced technology transfer and cyber hacking, White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow told reporters Wednesday.

“They have for the first time acknowledged that we have a point. Several points,” Kudlow told reporters at an event hosted by The Christian Science Monitor. Previously, he said, “they were in denial.”

“And I think that has led to, you know, good negotiations,” Kudlow added.

Kudlow said the acknowledgement came out of trade talks between China and the U.S. He said even China’s leader, President Xi Jinping, has signaled a willingness to listen to the U.S.’s concerns at a dinner at the G20 summit in Argentina where he and U.S. President Donald Trump met.

“President Xi wasn’t saying, ‘no we didn’t, no we didn’t, no we didn’t.’ He was open to listening. And at the lower levels, we heard that. And that’s great progress.”

The Chinese Embassy in the U.S. did not immediately return a request for comment.

Chinese smartphone maker Huawei did not come up during the talks, according to Kudlow. Huawei is facing charges from the U.S. Department of Justice over two cases alleging the theft of trade secrets and fraud.

“The Huawei stuff has generally not come up in the trade talks,” Kudlow told reporters. “We looked at it as a legal matter so far.”

Huawei claimed in a lawsuit filed last month that the U.S. law banning government agencies from buying Huawei phones is unconstitutional. U.S. security experts fear the Chinese government could use Huawei’s devices to spy on U.S. government agents. Huawei has previously denied it would hand its data over to the Chinese government.

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News of China’s acknowledgement comes one day after court documents revealed that a Chinese national was charged with making false statements to the U.S. Secret Service. The woman allegedly entered Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida under false pretenses, bringing along a thumb drive with “malicious software,” according to court documents.

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