SAN JOSE, California (AP) – A federal judge has convicted a Chinese citizen of economic espionage, stolen trade secrets, and conspired for the benefit of his country’s government.
U.S. district judge Edward Davila found Hao Zhang, 41, guilty of the three counts Friday after a four-day trial.
The decision comes five years after Zhang was charged with conspiracy to steal technology from two companies shortly after graduating from the University of Southern California. The trade secrets were taken from the former employer of Zhang, Skyworks Solutions in Woburn, Massachusetts, and Avago Technlogies, a company in San Jose, California, which was later acquired by chip manufacturer Broadcom.
The stolen technology is used to filter unwanted signals to smartphones.
The conviction is part of efforts to address the alleged theft of US-created proprietary technology in China, an issue underlying the costly trade war between the two countries in recent years. The Chinese government has consistently denied its involvement in any attempt to steal American technology.
The verdict “is an important step in bringing to account an individual who has deprived their US employer of trade secrets and has attempted to replicate the company’s technology and replace its market share,” said John Demers, the assistant attorney general. from the Ministry of Justice for National Security.
Zhang’s lawyer, Daniel Olmos, declined to comment on the verdict. Zhang faces a maximum prison sentence of 10 to 15 years and fines of up to $ 250,000 for each of the three convictions.
The conviction is scheduled for August 31.
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