Chinese university skeptical that professors stole U.S. trade secrets

China's foreign ministry is investigating the U.S. allegations

A Chinese university is investigating allegations that its professors stole tech secrets from the U.S., but the school is so far skeptical of the claims.

"This could be a U.S. fabrication," a school staff member said Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Justice charged six Chinese nationals with economic espionage, for allegedly stealing wireless technologies used in mobile devices. All six are connected with Tianjin University, about 90 miles southeast of Beijing.

One of those named, Tianjin University Professor Hao Zhang, was arrested in the U.S. four days ago. The other five remain at large.

Tianjin University is investigating the claims, and only learned about the charges on Wednesday from media reports, said a school staff member surnamed Song who works in its media relations department.

Although the university has given no official statement, Song said the U.S. has accused Chinese nationals of spying before, only to drop the accusations later.

"These types of cases have been happening more," Song added. "The U.S. is paying greater attention to cybersecurity. But the U.S. has also shown a double standard in this area."

On Wednesday, China's foreign ministry said it was also looking into the matter, but that the country would protect its citizens' rights and interests.

"The Chinese government firmly opposes and combats the theft of trade secrets," said foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei.

Both China and the U.S. are increasingly butting heads on technology issues. A year ago, those tensions rose, when the U.S. indicted five members of the Chinese military for allegedly hacking into U.S. companies to steal trade secrets.

China, however, has continually denied its involved in any cyberespionage. In the past, it's also accused the U.S. of launching cyberattacks, and pointed to leaks from former national security contractor Edward Snowden as evidence.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags legalU.S. Department of JusticeCriminal

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?