Chinese gets 7 years for stealing trade secrets

Last Updated: Thursday, December 22, 2011 - 22:08

Washington: A Chinese scientist who admitted
to stealing trade secrets worth USD 12 million from two US
firms on organic insecticides and sending them to China and
Germany has been sentenced to more than seven years in prison.
Huang Kexue, 46, has pleaded guilty to stealing secrets
from Dow AgroSciences, where he worked from 2003 to 2008, and
Cargill Inc.

Huang was sentenced by the US District Judge William
Lawrence in the Southern District of Indiana. He was sentenced
to 87 months in prison. Huang previously faced a maximum of 25
years in prison.

The case is the latest in a series of similar allegations
about trade secrets being handed to Chinese companies.
Huang was born in China but holds permanent resident
status in the US. Huang admitted in October that he stole
secrets on a pesticide and a new food product and sent them to
China and Germany, the BBC reported.

According to court papers, Cargill estimated the value of
the information stolen at USD 12 million, while Dow gave no
specific figure, beyond saying it amounted to millions of
dollars.
In his plea, Huang admitted giving the information to a
Chinese university, as well as the National Natural Science
Foundation of China and the 863 Programme, a Chinese
government initiative to develop and acquire high-level
technologies.

"Huang used his insider status at two of America`s
largest agricultural companies to steal valuable trade secrets
for use in his native China," said Lanny Breur, assistant
attorney general for the US Department of Justice.
The sentence came on the same day that the Wall Street
Journal reported Chinese hackers had stolen information from
the US Chamber of Commerce, focusing on the group`s Asian
policy team.

There have been growing concerns in the US that corporate
trade secrets are being stolen and handed over to competitors
in China.
Earlier in 2011, a Chinese engineer was found guilty of
stealing secrets from Ford Motors to try and get a job with
Chinese car manufacturers.
In 2010 another couple was charged with trying to sell
secrets about General Motors` hybrid vehicles to China`s Chery
Automobile Company.

Businessmen have repeatedly raised concerns about these
issues, saying that not only do such moves hand sensitive
information to competitors, they also give them an unfair
advantage by saving them millions of dollars in research and
development costs.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, December 22, 2011 - 16:36

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