Feeds

RIM boss accuses China of IP theft risk

We're steering clear of PRC, says Heins

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

RIM CEO Thorsten Heins has reignited the debate over whether China is a safe place to do business, after claiming this week that the BlackBerry-maker does not have any manufacturing bases in the country due to security concerns.

Heins made the comments in a response to a question at the embattled smartphone firm’s annual general meeting on Tuesday as to what it was doing to prevent long-term data leakage of the scale seen at Nortel.

“Very frankly, that is why we are not building or manufacturing in China, as many of our competitors do, to really protect our [software] code and make sure the [intellectual property] of RIM is protected,” he said, according to the Washington Post.

Given that that the security of its devices and BES messaging infrastructure is one of the few competitive advantages RIM has left over its rivals in the crowded smartphone space, any compromise would be disastrous for the firm.

Heins’ concerns would seem to be well founded. The Reg has previously reported that many foreign multinationals in the region are complaining about IP theft from their Chinese business units, and RIM would certainly be a potential target.

However, Kenny Lee, a principal consultant in Verizon Business’ Asia Pacific investigative response team, told El Reg that there are dangers everywhere for a firm like RIM.

“The truth is that cases of IP theft also occur in the US and Canada. Staying away from manufacturing in China doesn’t automatically protect any company from third parties obtaining access to proprietary data,” he added.

“In recent news, infrastructures that were once thought to be very secure have been breached and that tells us no environment can ever be 100 per cent secure.”

Lee argued that firms should make sure they develop a strong incident response plan to ensure that if a breach occurs, they can swiftly and effectively manage the fall-out.

In any case, when it comes to China, a much bigger risk of IP leakage could be said to come via legitimate technology transfers that most Chinese partners force on foreign tech firms, in return for access to their huge domestic market.

There were rumours at a recent BT event that these security concerns may have contributed to the telco’s historical reluctance to go into a joint venture with any of the big local players in the Chinese market. ®

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.