By Miles Dilworth, Senior Reporter, Dailymail.Com

13:31 April 20, 2024, updated 13:32 April 20, 2024

  • Christopher Wray warns that China's quest for world domination is stealing valuable trade secrets from every sector of the US economy.
  • audit reveals the Chinese government also tried to plunder medical research from a children's hospital and the formula for the iconic Coca-Cola can
  • The consequences can be financially devastating, with one US energy company suffering a massive loss of $550 million due to intellectual property theft by a Chinese company.

China is stealing everything from nuclear weapons secrets to genetically modified seeds as part of an estimated $600 billion a year theft of U.S. technology, has revealed.

An analysis of the Justice Department's case reveals the tyrannical and brazen plundering of American companies by Chinese spies who sent trade secrets home.

In at least two cases, the Chinese government plans to steal technology related to the production and detection of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

But shameless bad actors are stealing medical secrets from a children's hospital in Ohio and seed technology from a farm in Iowa.

The consequences can be financially devastating, with one U.S. energy company suffering a whopping $550 million loss due to intellectual property theft by a Chinese company.

FBI Director Christopher Wray warned last week that Chinese spies are becoming more “aggressive” than ever in their efforts to steal U.S. trade secrets.
In March, former Google software engineer Linwei Ding was charged with stealing AI trade secrets from the tech giant and passing them on to a Chinese company.
Mo Hailong was found guilty in Iowa of digging up genetically modified corn seeds with a plan to send them back to China.

The case also reveals how easily the Chinese government can steal American technology, with one Chinese citizen downloading a large amount of documents from a U.S. company-issued laptop to his personal hard drive and then downloading them to I saved it under a folder named “Chinese Government”.

This comes as FBI Director Christopher Wray warned last week that China is “the defining threat of our generation” and has become “more aggressive in its efforts to steal our secrets.” This was in response to the has discovered more than a dozen cases since 2018 in which the U.S. government has charged Chinese entities or individuals with conspiring to steal U.S. intellectual property on behalf of the Chinese government.

Our audit revealed:

  • The People's Republic of China has orchestrated an effort to steal billions of dollars worth of trade secrets from some of America's biggest companies, including Tesla, Google, Apple, and Coca-Cola.
  • But this brazen theft has permeated all levels of society, from Wall Street to Main Street, and small businesses and startups are also targeted.
  • Agriculture, technology, manufacturing, medicine, and the military are all targets of Chinese espionage, and no sector of society is safe.
  • Chinese nationals based in the United States are often paid handsomely or given subsidies by groups backed by the Chinese Communist Party in exchange for passing on trade secrets.

These findings are likely just the tip of the iceberg, as the FBI revealed last year that it had about 2,000 active investigations related to China's “information theft” efforts.

Meanwhile, since the beginning of this century, there have been more than 1,200 IP (intellectual property) theft lawsuits filed by U.S. companies against Chinese companies.


Some of the most disturbing incidents involve attempted theft of U.S. military and national defense secrets, including nuclear weapons technology.

As recently as February, Chenguang Gong of San Jose was arrested on suspicion of stealing code that could detect missile launches from space.

The 57-year-old Chinese native, who immigrated to the United States around 1993 and became a citizen in 2011, “attempted to provide information for military assistance to the People's Republic of China,” according to the U.S. Central District Attorney. That's what it means. California.

Gong was released on $2.5 million bail after a hearing in San Jose, but faces 10 years in federal prison if convicted.

His prosecution comes in response to the growing threat of Chinese espionage, a devastating initiative jointly led by the Department of Justice and the Department of Commerce to counter efforts by adversaries to illegally acquire sensitive U.S. technology. This was done after giving rise to the establishment of the Technical Strike Force.

Last May, the company announced a number of charges against alleged hostile actors, three of whom were Chinese nationals.

The indictment alleges that Liming Lee, 64, of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., was involved in manufacturing nuclear submarines and military aircraft owned by two former U.S. employers. He is suspected of stealing technical secrets that could be used.

Mr. Lee, who worked in various engineering and software development positions at a Southern California company, is accused of stealing software that was subject to U.S. export controls for national security, nuclear nonproliferation, and antiterrorism reasons. has been accused of.

According to court documents, Li allegedly used the stolen technology to expand his business and provide services to Chinese government agencies and businesses.

The case is one of the first filed by the Unified Task Force, and claims that malicious actors like Mr. Li, who downloaded fragments of files onto a company-issued laptop named “Chinese Government,” It also revealed the extraordinary audacity of those who were targeted.

From genetically modified seeds to medical secrets

Li Chen was sentenced to 30 months in prison for illegally seizing research on treatments for various pediatric conditions from the National Children's Hospital Research Institute.
Chinese companies own 346,915 acres of American farmland as of December 2022

Read more: Oregon forestland bought by Chinese billionaire Chen Tianqiao for $85 million disappears from government records

Chen Tianqiao built Shanda Interactive into China's largest internet company within five years of its founding in 1999, thanks to the huge success of the games “The World of Legend” and “Dungeons & Dragons Online.”

The U.S. agriculture sector has also remained on high alert against the threat of Chinese espionage since the 2016 conviction of Mo Hailong in Iowa for digging up genetically modified corn seeds in a scheme to send them back to China. ing.

The FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice say incidents of agricultural intellectual property theft have increased since sea dragons were first spotted foraging in fields in 2011.

This comes amid concerns that as of December 2022, Chinese companies own 346,915 acres of U.S. farmland.

But perhaps one of the most shameless examples of state-sponsored theft is the 2021 sentencing of Li Chen for conspiracy to steal trade secrets from a children's hospital in Ohio.

Chen, who formerly lived in Dublin, Ohio, was sentenced to 30 months in prison for his leading role in a scheme funded by the Chinese government. In this scheme, she sought to illegally seize her research on treatments for various pediatric conditions from the National Children's Association. Hospital laboratory.

Court documents revealed that the 49-year-old man conspired to steal and monetize the sale of exosome “isolation kits,” which play a key role in treating conditions such as liver fibrosis and liver cancer.

After the verdict, Alan E. Kohler Jr. of the FBI's Counterintelligence Division denounced the callous plan.

“The most important mission of a hospital is to help people live longer, healthier lives. But the defendant's mission is to steal trade secrets and set up a company in China to make money from the stolen trade secrets.” “That was the case,” he said.

State-sponsored theft

Chen received benefits from the Chinese government, including the State Bureau of Foreign Experts and the National Natural Science Foundation of China, to carry out his work.

John C. Demers, Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Agency, likened these agencies to the infamous Thousand Talents Plan. The state aid system, which Western counterintelligence officials have long warned about, is being used to find Chinese scientists and engineers who have emigrated overseas.

Li-Ming Li was also enrolled in the program, as was Shannon Yu, also known as Xiaolong Yu, of Lansing, Michigan, who was involved in one of the more routine but unusual attempts to steal America's most valuable trade secrets. It is believed that he was seeking registration of A can of Coca-Cola.

You were laid off by Soda Supremo as part of a company reorganization in August 2017, but in the weeks leading up to your final day, she worked around the company's sophisticated downloaded a highly sensitive formulation related to can liners onto a personal device. security system.

Xiaolong Yu, left, of Lansing, Michigan, who was convicted of trying to steal trade secrets related to Coca-Cola's can manufacturing, shakes hands with Chinese businessman Xu Dongguo. U.S. prosecutors allege that she would have benefited from her.theft
You were interrogated by the FBI in Grand Rapids before being sentenced to 14 years in prison for conspiracy to commit economic espionage, possession of stolen trade secrets, economic espionage, and wire fraud.

You were one of only two people at Coke who knew the details, but without it the company's famously sweet-and-sour recipe would burn the cans. was critical to its success.

You can download this most valuable trade secret A little more than a week ago, she left China to apply for millions of dollars in government funding to start her own coatings company, before applying to the Thousand Talents Program. I was traveling to

The funding will help her company break an “international monopoly” in the global food container coatings industry, she wrote in the application. The files from her Cora computer were central to her plan.

In May 2022, Mr. You was sentenced to 14 years in prison for conspiracy to commit economic espionage, possession of stolen trade secrets, economic espionage, and wire fraud.

The formula she tried to steal belonged to a Coke partner company that invented it, and it cost nearly $120 million to develop.

Huge losses for American companies

These eye-watering amounts lead the FBI to estimate that China's estimated theft of American trade secrets costs the United States between $300 billion and $600 billion annually.

Back in 2018, a US court ruled that US energy company AMSC lost more than $550 million due to the theft of trade secrets by China-based wind turbine company Sinobel Wind Group LLC. It was determined that he had suffered.

In the same year, Taiwan's UMC was fined $60 million after pleading guilty to stealing trade secrets from the American company Micron Technology to aid a Chinese state-owned semiconductor maker.

Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen said at the time that UMC acted to help China achieve “self-sufficiency in computer memory production without expending its own time or funds.”

But the Chinese government is also targeting major players in the U.S. business world. Over the past 12 months, prosecutors have charged Chinese individuals and entities with conspiring to steal trade secrets from Tesla, Apple, and Google.

Speaking at a conference in Nashville on Thursday, Wray reiterated that China views all sectors of the U.S. economy as “fair targets” for espionage and intellectual property theft.

In March, former Google software engineer Linwei Ding was charged with stealing AI trade secrets from the tech giant and passing them on to a Chinese company.

According to the indictment, the stolen information related to the hardware infrastructure and software platform that enables Google's supercomputing data centers to train large-scale AI models through machine learning.

The 38-year-old Chinese national was arrested in Newark, California, on Wednesday and faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for each charge if convicted.

Ding's case is the first major enforcement action since Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco announced last month that the Justice Department's Disruptive Technology Strike Force would focus on AI-related violations.

In remarks at the Vanderbilt Summit on Modern Conflicts and Emerging Threats in Nashville on Thursday, Wray said China “regards all areas in which our society operates as fair game.” It's no wonder that he warned again, “There is.”

The FBI director said this threat is “driven, in part, by the Chinese Communist Party's desire for wealth and power,” and that even if it requires theft, China is “in the most critical areas of tomorrow's economy.” “I want to control the economic development of the country,” he added.

Source link