US: 6 From China Conspired to Steal Tech Secrets

5 indicted, one arrested
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted May 19, 2015 2:18 PM CDT
US: 6 From China Conspired to Steal Tech Secrets
A Chinese flag and American flag are shown.   (AP Photo/Feng Li, Pool)

It's one arrest and five indictments with some big implications: Federal prosecutors have charged six Chinese citizens with what they allege was a decade-long effort to steal wireless technology from two Silicon Valley companies. Tianjin University professor Hao Zhang, 36, was arrested Saturday at LAX, en route to a conference from China, where the other five are believed to still be. The New York Times frames the news as big in two ways: The indictment — for "conspiracy to commit economic espionage" —is the "broadest" since this hacking-related one from last year (still no arrests in that case), and " [seems] bound to revive the tensions with Beijing."

The AP reports by way of prosecutors that that Hao met Wei Pang, 35, and Huisui Zhang, 34, at the University of Southern California a decade ago and allegedly conspired to steal trade secrets from two of their US employers post-graduation. The Times notes all six men studied in America and were later employed by Avago Technologies and Skyworks Solutions. Those companies produce chips that play a role in the acoustics of mobile phones, and the men are alleged to have, using the secrets gleaned, produced the chips in concert with Tianjin University. The Times has much more on the indictment, which states Hao and Wei applied for patents in the US, having been under pressure from the university to have patents at home and abroad. (Read more China stories.)

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