It’s true. Your trade secrets aren’t safe in China

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Here’s an interesting effort by the OECD, which is trying to quantify how well-protected trade secrets are across a number of large, significant economies.

Called the Trade Secrets Protection index, the gauge tries to assess how stringent countries are when it comes to various aspects of protecting business secrets, from actual legal provisions to how well protections are administered by the justice system. There’s a long piece explaining the effort here. But for those of us who just want to cut to the chase, here are the headline results.

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It’s probably not really a surprise to international business people that China ends up on the bottom of this list. The OECD notes that China actually has rather stringent laws on the books regarding trade secrets, but in practice those laws are undermined by a justice system in which it is particularly difficult to prove even the existence of trade secrets (for example there is no pre-trial discovery process) let alone their theft. The whole paper is well worth a look.