Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, was Valeo Chairman Thierry Morin’s explanation to shareholders wondering about a reported theft of company documents by a 22-year-old Valeo trainee.
According to French newspapers, the trainee – a woman of Chinese nationality – was caught with confidential company data in four computers in her home near Versailles, France, police said.
A soothing Morin said the data on the woman’s home PCs were not highly sensitive, and that “industrial spying” was too strong a term.
Anyhow, the affair shows Valeo is at the cutting edge of technology with secrets worth stealing, he added. Morin dismissed shareholders’ suggestions that Chinese were prone to imitating industrial processes. He said: “In this field, I detect no difference in nationalities.”