In dozens of interviews with U.S. government and business representatives, officials involved in commerce with China said hacking and theft were an open secret for almost two decades, allowed to quietly continue because U.S. companies had too much money at stake to make waves. Hackers from China, often with ties to the government, have been accused of breaking into gas companies, steel companies and chemical companies. A former top Google official who was closely involved in managing the hack told NPR that Google was “infuriated” that no other company would come forward, leaving Google to challenge China alone. When I pressed them on why they were not taking stronger action against China, their response was, ‘We have a multifaceted relationship with China.'” Alperovitch says White House officials told him that some of the same companies that were being victimized by China also wanted to continue doing business in China. Ask McGregor, the American business representative, how companies can complain about China’s behavior to the U.S. government while simultaneously preventing the government from taking strong action, and his answer is blunt.