Country Risk

US accuses Chinese intelligence officer of attempting to steal trade secrets from aviation companies

11 October 2018

A Chinese Ministry of State Security (MSS) operative has been arrested and charged with conspiring and attempting to commit economic espionage and steal trade secrets from multiple US aviation and aerospace companies, according to a 10 October statement by the US Department of Justice (DoJ).

The indictment alleges that Xu Yanjun, who was extradited to the United States from Belgium on 9 October, targeted aerospace companies, including GE Aviation, from at least December 2013 until his arrest in Belgium on 1 April.

Xu, who is stated to be a deputy division director with the MSS’s Jiangsu State Security Department, Sixth Bureau, “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, said the DoJ, adding that Xu and others “paid the experts’ travel costs and provided stipends”.

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