Cyber Espionage Sanctions Considered

The Main Point

The Obama Administration is considering levying sanctions against Chinese firms suspected from benefitting from cyber espionage. Given discussions held during Xi Jinping’s visit to the US, the administration is likely to delay the use of sanctions, for now.

Key Events

Sanctions policy under development

The White House is preparing a menu of sanctions against Chinese companies that officials believe benefited from the cybertheft of U.S. corporate secrets,


Part of broader attempt to deal with cyber espionage

A senior administration official said the White House “is pursuing a comprehensive strategy” to fight cyber-theft, including “diplomatic engagement, trade policy tools, law enforcement mechanisms and imposing sanctions on individuals or entities that engage in certain significant, malicious cyber-enabled activities.”


Sanctions would limit business activity

Sanctions could affect the ability of the targeted Chinese firms to access U.S. financial markets and trade with American companies, and could even hamper the ability of their executives to travel to the United States.


When to impose sanctions remains undecided

The White House hasn’t decided definitively to impose the sanctions, but the planning process is far along

Sources for this Story:  

Obama under pressure to get tough with China, but holding back during state visit