Chinese Professor convicted of stealing trade secrets from US firms

Case typifies how Chinese educational institutions work with individuals to erode intellectual property

Taiwan News
Date: 2020/06/28
By: Chris Chang, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

Tianjin University allegedly supported Zhang in IP theft (Wikimedia Commons photo)

Tianjin University allegedly supported Zhang in IP theft (Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The U.S. Department of Justice announced the conviction of Zhang Hao (張浩), who stole trade secrets from two U.S. tech companies and enabled China's Tianjin University (TJU) and his own firm to unfairly compete in the multi-billion-dollar market for radio frequency filters on electronic devices.

According to the department, the two U.S. companies that Zhang stole trade secrets from are California-based Avago and Massachusetts-based Skyworks. The former designs and supplies a broad range of analog, digital, and mixed-signal components with a focus on semiconductor design and processing, while the latter is specialized in high-performance analog semiconductors.

Zhang targeted the well-developed technologies owned by these two companies, specifically the Film Bulk Acoustic Resonators (FBAR), which are applied to eliminate interference and improve other aspects of device performance.

Back in 2006, Zhang launched a business in China while working for Avago at the same time; his accomplice, Pang Wei (龐慰), worked for Skyworks. The two later became professors at TJU and cooperated with the school to form another company, Novana, in 2009, using key information they stole from the U.S. entities.    [FULL  STORY]