UPDATED 11:19 AM PT — Friday, November 22, 2019
A Chinese man is facing charges in the U.S. after allegedly stealing trade secrets while working for Monsanto. A statement from the Justice Department Thursday said the 42-year-old employee was charged in Saint Louis, Missouri after he was stopped by airport federal agents. The man was reportedly headed back to China while carrying “proprietary farming software.”
DoJ: Chinese National Who Worked at Monsanto Indicted on Economic Espionage Charges https://t.co/H7bIua2JIp
— James Mulvenon (@jmulvenon) November 21, 2019
The man’s lawyer said he would plead “not guilty.” Meanwhile, China’s foreign ministry said it takes issue with the U.S. using the case as an example of China’s plan to steal intellectual property.
“We resolutely oppose the U.S. using this single case as a pretext for saying China has groups that organize and plan to steal intellectual property from the U.S.,” stated Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang. “China’s technological achievements did not come from theft, we have said multiple times before that the U.S. saying China stealing intellectual property is with ulterior motives.”
The Department of Justice said the case is another example of how the Chinese government encourages employees to steal from their U.S. employers. Intellectual property is one of the core issues in the ongoing trade dispute between the two countries.