The Justice Department unsealed charges against Zha Rong, Chai Meng and seven other co-conspirators on Tuesday for trying to steal intellectual property and other sensitive data from a dozen American companies inside the US and abroad.
According to the indictment filed last week, “Members of the conspiracy targeted, among other things, companies in the aerospace and other high-technology industries, and attempted to steal intellectual property and confidential business information, including information that was commercial in nature.”
The individuals are said to belong to the Jiangsu Province Ministry of State Security (JSSD).
The indictment added that, “Members of the conspiracy targeted, among other things, data and information related to a turbofan engine used in commercial jetliners. At the time of the intrusions, a Chinese state-owned aerospace company was working to develop a comparable engine for use in commercial aircraft manufactured in China and elsewhere.”
The Trump administration has been putting up a public show of criticism against Beijing in military, economic and cyber fronts.
“For the third time since only September, the National Security Division, with its US Attorney partners, has brought charges against Chinese intelligence officers from the JSSD and those working at their direction and control for stealing American intellectual property,” said John Demers, the assistant attorney general for national security, in a statement. “This is just the beginning. Together with our federal partners, we will redouble our efforts to safeguard America’s ingenuity and investment.”
Beijing has not responded to the indictment yet.