Feature Image of Yanjun Xu via Butler County Jail via wcpo.com
Yanjun Xu, a 41yro deputy division director for China’s Ministry of State Security, is being prosecuted in federal court in Cincinnati for allegedly attempting to steal trade secrets from GE Aviation and other companies including Honeywell and Boeing.
Beginning in 2013, Xu allegedly worked with other Chinese intelligence officers and other Chinese organizations, including a university in Nanjing, to acquire trade secrets from aviation and aerospace companies in the United States and Europe. According to prosecutors, Xu and co-conspirators used aliases to recruit and pay engineering experts at aviation companies to hand over sensitive technical information. Xu allegedly sought data on composite materials used in GE fan blades and fan blade encasements. GE has spent more than $5 billion developing that technology.
- The Chinese have a well-known policy providing generous incentives to Chinese nationals for acquiring Western technology.
- According to allegations, Xu and his colleagues recruited experts at targeted companies and paid for them to come to China to present at a university or participate in an idea exchange.
- A Cincinnati-based GE Aviation engineer met with Xu several times in China, including presenting at the Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
- Xu also traveled to Cincinnati to meet with the GE engineer.
- Xu was arrested in Belgium when he arranged to meet the engineer there.
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Sources & Additional Information
This is a feature story from the October issue of our Insider Signal Plus Newsletter in which iThreat and Michael Gips share our insights on important stories about insider threat incidents and how organizations can prevent, reduce, and respond to similar insider threat incidents. Would you like to make sure you are aware of insider and other threats facing your organization? Need to figure out who is behind the aliases, groups, websites, and communities targeting your executives, key staff, intellectual property, sensitive information, facilities, business reputation, brands, and business continuity? SignalAlert Monitoring and Investigations Programs help our clients address these problems and more.