When I was at university (a long time ago) the Chinese had a different approach to gathering intellectual property. They would send students to study and research then those students would go back to China with their experience and knowledge, which seems fair. Somehow, the espionage-led approach to gaining intellectual property seems like cheating…:
[…] In its latest advisory published this morning, the National Cyber Security Centre has warned UK universities that “state espionage will continue to pose the most significant threat to the long-term health of both universities and the UK itself”, adding that there is a realistic possibility that “the threat will increase in-line with increased scrutiny of foreign direct investment and the minimising of other avenues to gain insight and advantage.”
The cyber security watchdog noted that state-sponsored hackers target universities in the UK primarily to gain access to email accounts of faculties and other staff, to gain access to bulk personal information on staff and students, and to gain access to technical resources, sensitive research, and intellectual property.
Nation-state hackers are usually given the task of gaining access to and stealing advanced intellectual property research carried out by UK universities as gaining access to such research will allow their sponsor nations to advance their equivalent research efforts, military or security apparatus.
If universities lose their intellectual property and advanced research work to hackers on a regular basis, it will damage the value of their impacted research and intellectual property and as a result, diminish their attractiveness, relevance and value over a period of time.