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Chinese Intelligence Officer Charged with Economic Espionage (justice.gov)
78 points by ccnafr 8 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 12 comments





"He identified experts who worked for these companies and recruited them to travel to China, often initially under the guise of asking them to deliver a university presentation. Xu and others paid the experts’ travel costs and provided stipends."

And that seems to be the end of the allegation. I'm wondering, "And then what?"

Were the experts bribed or blackmailed? It seems like quite a stretch to be charged with such a serious crime for convincing experts to give a lecture.


> And that seems to be the end of the allegation. I'm wondering, "And then what?"

> Were the experts bribed or blackmailed? It seems like quite a stretch to be charged with such a serious crime for convincing experts to give a lecture.

The actual indictment is more detailed: https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/1099876/downl...

He's charged with conspiracy, and page 5/6 of the indictment makes me suspect the government gained some access to the conspiracy's internal communications that revealed it as such. It's still a crime to conspire with others to commit a crime, even if the plans you form are never acted upon or carried out successfully.

Edit: Further down in the indictment on pages 10-12, it looks like the accused Chinese intelligence officer convinced an employee of the company to send parts of a confidential presentation and directory listings from his work computer. The employee was later asked to download the files to an external hard disk and carry them to Europe so the intelligence officer could inspect them. It sounds like the employee was cooperating with the government and they arrested the suspect when he was expecting to get the hard disk with the files.


If I were writing the press release I’d definitely include at least one sentence describing what the conspirators dastardly plan was!

From the PR it’s not even clear that an expert was knowingly involved in the plot.


Given how legal filings work, unless they have good evidence that the expert wasn't deceived they should not say that.

Besides, the filing only says that this Chinese person allegedly tried to convince the expert to commit a crime, hell it even seems likely that this expert is the one that called the FBI to intervene.

Frankly, I think they should not even publicly imply this person did anything until they have a conviction, and after that only of the things that the person was actually convicted of.


Reading the indictment, it sure sounds like the victim company employee was in on it. I wonder why "Employee 1" is not also charged. The press release makes it sound like the Chinese spy was soliciting company insiders to give talks where maybe they can learn something, whereas the indictment alleges that he was brazenly asking the insiders to send copies of confidential designs. And in this case it seems the insider did exactly that, and was hand over of a big dump of valuable data was imminent when US authorities decided to move in. It seems to be more than mere conspiracy, they were actually committing espionage.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I wonder if "Employee 1" is a Chinese national and was under some pressure, or if there was a big payout on offer that isn't mentioned. Otherwise I can't understand why anyone would betray their employer for a few grand of travel expenses.


Please note that the indictment is the opinion of one prosecutor, who got the story secondhand (or worse), and writes with the express purpose (and bias) to get a conviction.

You should read it like it is SCO's legal description of the damage inflicted by IBM's Linux on SCO. Because that's exactly what it is.


The allegation is

>conspiring and attempting to commit economic espionage and steal trade secrets from multiple U.S. aviation and aerospace companies.

What you are quoting is part of how he went about it.


I wish Russian spies were caught stealing tech secrets instead of killing and cyberwar-ing - i mean it would be kind of an indicator that my old country looks forward instead of into the past.

russia doesn't need to steal tech secrets. they have a lot of tech, especially in aviation. what they lack is in mass producing due to various things that can't be fixed overnight.

Thanks. I guess I could hardly desire for a best illustration of my point. I suppose you're a Russian millennium, right? The generation which will be defining Russia for the next several decades. Rephrasing a well known saying - Russia doesn't look into the future and the future doesn't look into Russia.

I'm surprised they haven't looked into WZor more. Seems like they have a good amount of backdoors into Microsoft as a company.

It's interesting that the behaviors began since 2013 and nobody recognized.



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