FBI Busts International Corporate Espionage


For the first time in US history, a US official is filing corporate espionage charges against a foreign state-owned company. The two company involved in this legal scandal are Dupont, a US company, and Pangang Group, a Chinese company. The story involves an obscure chemical and an almost obsolete technology that DuPont has wanted to keep secret for years. The two employees of DuPont alleged of stealing the technology and selling it to the Chinese company are pledging not guilty of the charges.

The FBI didn’t really find evidence for the case until one agent, who understood Chinese, caught a conversation between the Ms. Christina Leiws and her husband. The agent then followed Ms. Leiws and eventually found a safe deposit box containing files of a decade long documented plot for stealing DuPont’s technology.

I think the fact that Pangang Group is a state-owned company adds another level of complexity to the story. Though the intent of espionage for Pangang Group may be purely for corporate benefit, the political component is somehow dubbed to the picture. The interesting thing is, after ten years of planning for the espionage, Pangang Group is still willing to take the risk of getting caught despite the depreciated value of the technology. May be somewhere in the story, there is a political spinoff.

--Rong Pang