Ex-Dow Scientist Is Convicted of Selling Secrets in China

A former Dow Chemical employee has been convicted by a Louisiana court of selling trade secrets to China. From the New York Times:

Evidence at the three-week trial showed that the scientist, Liu Wen, 74, also paid a $50,000 bribe to a Dow employee to supply materials about how the company made a polymer used in automotive hoses, jackets for electrical cables and vinyl siding.

The conviction illustrates what federal authorities have described as a growing threat in the competition with China for an economic edge. As nations like China broaden efforts to obtain technology, they have increasingly been able to buy secrets from current and former insiders at big American companies.

Another former Dow Chemical scientist, Huang Kexue, is awaiting trial in Indiana on more serious charges that he engaged in economic espionage in sharing some of Dow’s insecticide secrets with Chinese researchers.

Over the last year and a half, charges involving the theft of trade secrets have been filed against former engineers from General Motors and Ford Motor. Scientists at DuPont and Valspar, a Minnesota paint company, recently pleaded guilty to stealing their employers’ secrets after taking jobs in China.

Justice Department officials said the conspiracy led by Mr. Liu, of Houston, unfolded over at least eight years.

February 7, 2011 11:29 PM
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