Chinese engineer accused of stealing trade secrets from GE unit

(Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal-Sentinel) A Chinese engineer who worked in Waukesha for a subsidiary of GE Healthcare stole about 2.4 million files of trade secrets and other confidential company information and sent it to China, according to GE and the FBI.

Jun Xie, 41, who joined the medical equipment giant in 2008, had been suspended and hit with a civil suit by the company in July.

Then on Wednesday, just as that action appeared closed with Xie’s agreement to an injunction ordering him to return what he could and cooperate with the company’s investigation, he was charged in federal court with criminal theft of trade secrets and appeared in court.

The case is at least the second involving theft of sensitive technical data by a Chinese citizen working in the Milwaukee area. Last year, a cancer researcher at the Medical College of Wisconsin was charged with economic espionage before later pleading guilty to a lesser charge.

According to the criminal complaint, GE officials discovered in June that Xie had accessed and copied about 2.4 million files — about 1.4 gigabytes of data — from the company’s secure network, starting in February 2013. Much of the information was of the type Xie was not authorized to use and was not necessary to his work writing source code for magnetic resonance technology.

The files included engineering designs, testing data, business strategy and source code for magnetic resonance systems. In court documents, GE said it would suffer “irreparable harm” if the trade secrets were disclosed. . . (read the rest)

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