US entrepreneurs make a choice: rewards of doing business in China often outweigh risks of losing trade secrets

In general, “companies are vulnerable to loss of intellectual property, particularly trade secrets, during licensing processes," said Jacob Parker, vice-president of the US-China Business Council, a group that represents the interests of US companies – including Coca-Cola and Microsoft – in China. Parker, without naming the company or sector, said that during a recent licence approval process, a Chinese authority asked a US company to provide specific temperature and pressure information beyond usual international standards. “This information would make it easier for a competitor to learn details about a production process,” Parker said. “Providing information outside the scope puts companies’ trade secrets at risk.” In other cases, Chinese competitors have been named to the approval panel with broad authority to request trade secrets under the auspices of a review, Parker said.