US formally launches probe of China's intellectual property practices

Chinese and American flags are displayed at a company in Beijing, Aug 16, 2017.
Chinese and American flags are displayed at a company in Beijing, Aug 16, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The United States on Friday (Aug 18) formally launched an investigation into China's alleged theft of US intellectual property, a widely expected move following a call from President Donald Trump earlier this week to determine whether one was needed.

"After consulting with stakeholders and other government agencies, I have determined that these critical issues merit a thorough investigation," US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, the nation's top trade negotiator, said in a statement.

(This story is developing)