US asks China if it wants to be known as 'dishonest regime running a corrupt economy founded on fraud'

World | 2 Nov 2018 12:55 pm

The United States has charged a government-controlled company in China with stealing trade secrets from an American semiconductor company, the Justice Department said Thursday as it outlined an initiative focused on what officials said was the growing threat of Chinese economic espionage.

The case, which involves trade secrets worth up to US$8.75 billion and allegedly stolen from Idaho-based Micron Technology Inc., is the latest in a series of prosecutions targeting Chinese corporate espionage. On Tuesday, for instance, federal prosecutors in California charged Chinese intelligence officers and hackers working for them with trying to steal information on commercial jet engines.

Other cases have involved stolen wind turbine technology and software source code.

"China — like any advanced nation — must decide whether it wants to be a trusted partner on the world stage, or whether it wants to be known around the world as a dishonest regime running a corrupt economy founded on fraud, theft and strong-arm tactics,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said at a news conference announcing the criminal case and a new China Initiative.

The charges name two companies, one in China and one in Taiwan, and three Taiwanese defendants. A Justice Department spokesman said the defendants were served summonses in Taiwan and that none is in U.S. custody.

The Chinese Embassy did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment Thursday.-AP

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