The Justice Department announced the arrest of six Chinese citizens on charges related to stealing U.S. technology, saying they’re guilty of a long-running plot that actually leads back to China’s government.
Unsealed indictments reveal Hao Zhang, 36, Wei Pang, 35, and four others were arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit economic espionage, conspiracy to commit theft of trade secrets, economic espionage and theft of trade secrets, the Hill reported. Hao, Wei and one other were charged with all four of the counts, while the other three were hit with two counts each.
Hao and Wei are accused of stealing trade secrets from Avago Technologies and Skyworks Solutions, their places of work, the Hill reported. The companies produce filters using FBAR technology for cellphones, and investigators say the plot was to steal the technology and use it to build a similar company in China. Hao and Wei have worked in the past with Tianjin University, tied to the Chinese Ministry of Education, and investigators think they wanted to use those business and government ties to set up their own company, ROFS Microsystems.
“The stolen trade secrets enabled Tianjin University to construct and equip a state of the art FBAR fabrication facility, to open ROFS Microsystems, a joint venture located in the People’s Republic of China state-sponsored Tianjin Economic Development Area, and to obtain contracts for providing FBARs to commercial and military entities,” the Justice Department said in a statement.