Background

The Department of Justice announced Dec. 21 that a Chinese national and U.S. legal permanent resident has been charged with theft of trade secrets. The man allegedly stole trade secrets related to a research and development downstream energy market product worth more than $1 billion from his U.S.-based petroleum company employer to use for the benefit of a Chinese company where he was offered employment.

Justice states that the U.S.-based petroleum company’s methods of developing the product are of great value, both economically and to competitors. The man ostensibly downloaded hundreds of files, including files related to the manufacture of the product, and allegedly planned to use these files to benefit his new employer.

Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers noted that “all too often these thefts involve the Chinese government or Chinese companies,” adding that Justice recently launched an initiative to protect the U.S. economy from such illegal practices emanating from China.

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