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FireEye CEO blames losses on China cybertreaty, competitors dispute drop in China’s hacking activities

Publicly listed cybersecurity firm FireEye Inc. missed its projected quarterly earnings and during an earnings call Thursday chief executive Dave DeWalt attributed the disappointing results in part to the U.S.-China cybertreaty announced during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s U.S. visit in September.

The comments were widely viewed with skepticism by industry professionals.

In a blog post last month, Dmitri Alperovitch, co-founder and CTO of CrowdStrike, a FireEye competitor, wrote that the company “has observed a continuation of intrusion activity from China” following the cybertreaty. “Based on our visibility into 177 countries around the world, we see no evidence of a notable decline in intrusion activity affiliated with China,” he added.

The treaty, which covers only cybertheft of intellectual property, and does not limit either nation from continuing to spy on government agencies, was viewed with a wary eye from the start.

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