Federal prosecutors have begun laying out their case against a Chinese engineer working for General Motors who, along with her husband, stands accused of stealing trade secrets aimed at helping the maker’s competitors in the booming Asian nation catch up on the development of advanced hybrid vehicles.
Former GM engineer Shanshan Du and husband Yu Qin are on trial for allegedly offering Chinese carmakers, including Chery Automobile Co. trade secrets the U.S. government contends were worth $40 million. It’s the latest in a series of federal efforts to crack down on Chinese spying and comes about a year after a Ford engineer was also found guilty of spying on his employer for the Chinese.
“Partners in life, partners in business and partners in crime,” proclaimed U.S. Prosecutor Michael Martin, as he began laying out the government’s case. “The case,” he argued, “is about theft as well as deceit.”
The couple were indicted in July 2010 on three counts of trade theft and wire fraud, the U.S. Dept. of Justice also charging Win with obstruction of justice. Both have pleaded not guilty.