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Doing business in China means spawning imitators; will American companies get gypped in the end?

Like most second marriages, the DuPont company's latest joint venture in China represents the triumph of hope over experience. When DuPont opened an agricultural-chemicals plant in Shanghai in 1991, local entrepreneurs made off with the formula for the company's Londax rice herbicide and started up a rival firm to produce it. DuPont's secret was not protected under Chinese law. Undaunted, DuPont plans to invest $16 million in a joint venture in Shanghai in 1995 that will manufacture equipment for integrated circuits. But this time the Delaware-based giant is trying to be smart about reducing its exposure to theft: in his August...

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