Monday, February 13, 2012

Oh, dear: DuPont, TiO2 and industrial espionage

Also in this week's C&EN, Marc Reisch continues to cover industrial espionage in this story of DuPont and some former employees:
Federal prosecutors have unveiled charges that over a period of years, five people and a Chinese company—all acting in concert and at the behest of the Chinese government—stole DuPont’s technology to manufacture the white pigment titanium dioxide. 
Two of the people charged were longtime DuPont employees. An industry analyst says that the firm’s superior process has led it to be a global leader in TiO2 production. 
[snip] The indictment names ex-DuPont employees Tze Chao, who worked for the company for 36 years until 2002, and Robert Maegerle, a process engineer who worked for DuPont for 35 years until 1991. One Pangang Group employee was charged. 
Also named in the conspiracy are Walter Liew and his wife, Christina Liew. Their California-based company, USA Performance Technology, was used to orchestrate the theft, prosecutors say. In a bid to stop Walter Liew’s release from federal custody at a bail hearing on Feb. 1, prosecutors charged that he had acted on behalf of Chinese Communist Party officials. Justice Department officials filed a complaint against both Liews at the end of July 2011. DuPont filed a civil complaint against Walter Liew and others in April 2011 (C&EN, April 11, 2011, page 20)
It would be fascinating to know which parts of MICE were at it again.

1 comment:

  1. Some Canadian is blaming Chinese hackers in the collapse of a Canadian firm. The hackers were doing it the smart way then. Not in the middle of the lair of the enemy: