Oct 10, 2018

U.S. charges alleged Chinese spy for stealing trade secrets

Photo: Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The Justice Department on Wednesday unsealed charges against a Chinese intelligence official for allegedly stealing trade secrets and sensitive information from GE Aviation and other companies.

Why it matters: This marks the first time a Chinese spy has been brought to the country to face prosecution. John Demers, the head of the DOJ’s national-security division, said the “case is not an isolated incident. It is part of an overall economic policy of developing China at American expense.”

The details: The man has been identified as Yanjun Xu, a deputy division director in China’s Ministry of State Security. The DOJ alleged that, from 2013, Xu targeted companies both in and out of the U.S. in the aviation field to obtain sensitive and proprietary information.

  • Officials said Xu allegedly recruited experts to travel to China under the guise of asking them to deliver a university presentation.
  • Xu was arrested in April by Belgian authorities and extradited to the U.S. on Tuesday.

The backdrop: For years, China has used spies and cyberattacks to steal troves of academic, corporate and military information it could use to bolster its growing political and economic power. Just last week, Vice President Mike Pence accused China of using spies, its economic power and propaganda prowess to undermine the U.S. and influence domestic politics.

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Bloomberg offers to release three women from nondisclosure agreements

Mike Bloomberg. Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Mike Bloomberg said Friday his company will release three women identified to have signed nondisclosure agreements so they can publicly discuss their allegations against him if they wish.

Why it matters, via Axios' Margaret Talev: Bloomberg’s shift in policy toward NDAs comes as he tries to stanch his loss of female support after the Las Vegas debate. It is an effort to separate the total number of harassment and culture complaints at the large company from those directed at him personally. That could reframe the criticism against him, but also protect the company from legal fallout if all past NDAs were placed in jeopardy.

Coronavirus spreads to more countries, and U.S. ups its case count

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the United States.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,250 people and infected almost 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

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Repatriated American citizens have doubled coronavirus cases in U.S.

Face mask discarded outside the Diamond Princess cruise ship. Photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

The official number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the U.S. just doubled — to 34 — but public health officials are pointing out that these are mostly people who've been repatriated.

Why it matters: As concerns grow about a global pandemic, officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention want to make sure the message gets out: "We are not seeing community spread here in the United States," Nancy Messonnier says.

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