Chinese citizen charged with stealing trade secrets from oil company in US

Illustration by Ajay Mohanty

A Chinese national employed by an Oklahoma petroleum company has been charged with stealing trade secrets.

Federal prosecutors in Tulsa said Friday that 35-year-old Hongjin Tan is accused of stealing trade secrets from his unnamed US-based employer that operates a research facility in the Tulsa area.

An affidavit filed by the FBI alleges that Tan stole trade secrets about an unidentified product worth more than $1 billion to his employer to benefit a Chinese company where Tan had been offered work.

Authorities say Tan allegedly downloaded hundreds of computer files regarding the manufacture of a "research and development downstream energy market product."

Court records show Tan made an initial appearance before a federal magistrate Thursday and remains in custody. A preliminary and detention hearing is scheduled next week.



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