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Ex-Google Engineer Charged With Stealing Trade Secrets While Working For Chinese Companies

The Justice Department announced Monday that a former Google employee has been indicted on charges of stealing trade secrets while working for the Chinese technology company.

Linwei Ding, a 38-year-old Chinese national who previously worked as an engineer at Google, stole technology and AI trade secrets from two China-based technology companies while working for them. according to to the Department of Justice. Ding is charged with four counts of theft of trade secrets. If he is convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each charge. (Related article: US indicts four Chinese nationals for exporting sensitive US electronic equipment to Iranian military)

“Today's charges are the latest example of the extent to which affiliates of companies based in the People's Republic of China are willing to steal American innovation,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a statement Wednesday. Ta. β€œThe theft of innovative technology and trade secrets from U.S. companies can cost jobs and have devastating effects on the economy and national security. We will continue our efforts to vigorously pursue those responsible for stealing confidential information.”

The Department of Justice alleges that Ding was hired as a software engineer by Google in 2019 and was given access to confidential information related to the company's hardware and software infrastructure and their respective artificial intelligence capabilities. In 2022, Ding began stealing hundreds of trade secrets and transferred them to personal accounts. By May 2023, he had stolen 500 such files from him.

A Google spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation: “We have strict safeguards in place to prevent the theft of commercially sensitive information and trade secrets.” “Upon investigation, we discovered that this employee had stolen numerous documents and we immediately reported the incident to law enforcement. We would like to thank the FBI for helping us protect our information. We look forward to working closely with them in the future.”

According to the Justice Department, Ding became chief technology officer (CTO) of a China-based technology startup in 2022, but during that time he also committed theft from Google and was given 20% of the company's stock. reportedly. He also founded his own technology startup company in China focused on machine learning and his AI models.

One of Ding's company documents claims that the company “had experience with Google's 10,000-card computing power platform.” All that is needed is to replicate and upgrade it, and then further develop a computing power platform suitable for China's national conditions,” the Department of Justice said.

Mr. Ding resigned from Google on December 26, 2023. according to Until the indictment. Days after he resigned, Google discovered his ties to one of its Chinese companies and theft of trade secrets, and an FBI investigation was launched days later that ultimately led to subsequent charges against him. Ta.

The Chinese government has repeatedly made efforts to steal American technology and intellectual property and bring it back to China for the benefit of its own interests and those of its foreign adversaries. FBI Director Chris Wray Said “There is no greater threat to innovation than the Chinese government,” he said in October. According to the FBI, investigations into this matter have increased by 1300% over the past few years.

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