The United States Department of Justice has accused six Chinese nationals, including three university professors, of stealing sensitive mobile phone technology and trade secrets.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the six have been accused of swiping sensitive radio frequency filter technology from US companies to benefit research and development at Chinese universities and firms.
The formal indictment alleges that the defendants stole trade secrets from two American companies (Avago Technologies and Skyworks Solutions Inc.—who also supply parts for the iPhone) and supplied them to China’s state-run Tianjin University in a joint venture for the manufacture of technologies which were then sold to business and “military entities”.
Zhang Hao, a 36-year-old professor at Tianjin University, is one of the identified suspects and was arrested upon landing at Los Angeles airport on Saturday. The other five are currently thought to be in China and are thus outside the jurisdiction of the US, unless they are turned over by the Chinese government or travel to another country prepared to arrest them.
The “spy vs. spy” saga between the US and China has been going on for some years now, with both countries trading accusations of conspiracy and clandestine attempts to steal sensitive information—from the arrest of an ex-NASA contractor to the conviction of two men for stealing Oreo’s precious recipe.
Last year, China also arrested a Canadian couple for allegedly stealing military intelligence and endangering China’s national security.
By Liam Bourke
[Graphic by Shanghaiist]