Boffin admits stealing US$1b trade secret

World | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 14 Nov 2019

A Chinese scientist has pleaded guilty to stealing next-generation battery technology from the American petroleum company where he worked.

Tan Hongjin, 35, a Chinese national who was a permanent legal resident of the United States, was arrested in December 2018 and charged with stealing trade secrets.

The Justice Department said Tan appeared in an Oklahoma District Court for theft of a trade secret, transmitting the secret and possessing the secret.

The market value of the technology Tan was accused of stealing was more than US$1 billion (HK$7.8 billion), it said.

US attorney Trent Shores said that Tan and fellow spies "engage in espionage to steal American trade secrets and intellectual property."

A LinkedIn page says Tan was a staff scientist with the disruptive technologies team at Phillips 66. He previously worked as a research assistant and visiting scientist at the California Institute of Technology, where he earned his doctorate.

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