Tianjin U Professors Charged with Economic Espionage

May 20, 2015

Three professors and a graduate student at China’s Tianjin University are among six defendants charged with economic espionage and theft of trade secrets regarding wireless signaling technology, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Tuesday. The indictment alleges that trade secrets stolen from U.S.-based Avago Technologies and Skyworks Solutions -- both of which design and develop a technology known as FBAR that filters wireless signals -- enabled Tianjin University "to construct and equip a state-of-the-art FBAR fabrication facility, to open ROFS Microsystems, a joint venture located in PRC state-sponsored Tianjin Economic Development Area (TEDA), and to obtain contracts for providing FBARs to commercial and military entities.”

Hao Zhang, a full professor at Tianjin and a Chinese citizen, was arrested on May 16 upon entry to the U.S. and is charged with conspiracy to commit economic espionage, conspiracy to commit theft of trade secrets, economic espionage, and theft of trade secrets. The five other indicted defendants include two former classmates of Zhang’s in a graduate electrical engineering program at the University of Southern California.

Zhang's defense attorney did not respond to a message seeking comment.

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