Chinese Company Accused of Trying to Steal US Technology

Chinese Company Accused of Trying to Steal US Technology

( – When it comes to protecting trade secrets, companies take every available precaution to safeguard their technology. However, in some cases, bad actors do everything they can — including bribing employees of these businesses and offering extravagant incentives — to get their hands on these well-guarded secrets. A recent indictment against a Chinese company shows industrial espionage is still very much a concern.

On Monday, February 7, the Department of Justice (DOJ) revealed a 21-count indictment against Hytera, a Chinese telecommunications company, for conspiracy to commit theft of technology from Illinois-based Motorola Solutions, Inc. According to the allegation, between 2007 and 2020, Hytera reportedly recruited Motorola employees to access classified information involving digital mobile radios (DMRs) through an internal database. The recruits shared the data via email, and Hytera used this information to speed up the development of its own products.

According to the DOJ, Hytera paid the Motorola employees it recruited as spies higher salaries than they received at their jobs. The document was unsealed in the US District Court of Chicago and listed the Chinese company and several individuals, many of whose names the DOJ redacted on the publicly released documents.

This indictment isn’t the first time the DOJ has charged a Chinese company with theft or possession of trade secrets. In 2019, the DOJ indicted Huawei Device Co. and Huawei Device Co. USA with 10 counts of theft of trade secrets, attempted theft of trade secrets, obstruction of justice and wire fraud.

If convicted, Hytera would face hefty fines, up to three times the value of the stolen trade secrets and other costs associated with Motorola’s loss. The pattern of systemic industrial espionage is, in part, what prompted FBI Director Christopher Wray to warn China posed “the greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information and intellectual property, and to our economic vitality.”

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