The U.S. International Trade Commission has officially started an inquiry into the hacking and theft of trade secrets from U.S. Steel Corp., allegedly by Chinese hackers. China’s largest steel-producing province has ordered production cuts due to air pollution.
ITC Launches Hacking Probe
U.S. regulators on Thursday officially launched an investigation into complaints by United States Steel Corp. that Chinese competitors stole its secrets and fixed prices, in the latest trade spat between the two countries. The International Trade Commission said in a statement that it has not made any decisions on the merits of the case.
The commission identified 40 Chinese steel makers and distribution subsidiaries as respondents, including Baosteel Group, Hebei Iron and Steel Group, Wuhan Iron and Steel Co Ltd., Maanshan Iron and Steel Group, Anshan Iron and Steel Group and Jiangsu Shagang Group.
U.S. Steel has accused Chinese hackers of stealing proprietary data to manufacture and sell dual-phase 980, a high-strength automotive steel alloy.
Tangshan Orders Steel Cuts
China’s top steelmaking city of Tangshan has ordered mills in and near the area to cut production for five days from Friday to ease air pollution, according to a notice from the local government.
It was not clear how much capacity is affected but Tangshan is the biggest city in Hebei province, which accounts for more than 20% of China’s steel output.