For their eyes only -- Renault affair heralds era of corporate spying
Forget James Bond and MI-5: the war has changed and espionage has a new industrial face, writes Aoife Drew
When one thinks about spies, images of James Bond, MI-5 characters and sexy Russian ladies smuggling microfilm come to mind. And yet, these days, spy action is more likely to be found in a seemingly dull car factory in the western suburbs of Paris.
It's a diplomatic crisis which looks set to cloud France's future economic ties with China and possibly an omen of similar cases to come.
Renault has fired three high-ranking executives in strategic positions who are accused of industrial espionage. The three are suspected of transmitting information about Renault's flagship electric vehicle programmes to a Chinese entity, which as yet remains unnamed.