On Wednesday (January 4), a General Electric (GE) worker who had planned to steal the business’ trade secrets for China received a two-year sentence. According to the US Justice Department, Xiaoqing Zheng, 59, of Niskayuna, New York, was found guilty of conspiring to commit economic espionage after a four-week jury trial that finished in March last year. Additionally, District Judge Mae D’Agostino fined Zheng $7,500. Additionally, he will complete a year of post-incarceration supervised release.
The Chinese government is the biggest long-term threat to US economic and national security, as US officials have emphasized in the past. According to them, China is making extraordinary efforts to snatch vital technology from American companies and researchers. Chinese officials have refuted these accusations. Zheng worked as an engineer specializing in turbine sealing technologies at GE Power in Schenectady, New York. The Justice Department stated that he was employed with GE from 2008 to the summer of 2018.
The Justice Department added that the trial evidence showed Zheng and others in China planned to steal GE’s trade secrets relating to its ground-based and aviation turbine technologies to benefit China, including China-based businesses and universities that conduct research into and produce turbine parts.
“This is a case of textbook economic espionage. Zheng exploited his position of trust, betrayed his employer and conspired with the government of China to steal innovative American technology,” said Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen of the Justice Department’s national security division.
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