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On Dec. 12, 2013, the U.S. government charged six Chinese nationals with conspiracy to steal trade secrets from several major seed companies. Read the full account below.



Crouched on his hands and knees under an Iowa sky, Mo Hailong quickly dug in the rows of freshly planted seed corn. Just the day before, May 2, 2011, he and coworker Wang Lei, vice chairman of Kings Nower Seed of China, stopped at this same field near Tama, Iowa. The farmer told them he was planting seed corn.

With each shovel, Hailong found pay dirt: DuPont Pioneer’s latest parent gene­tics, the building blocks for the next generation of high-yielding hybrids. The men hoped these seeds would help their own company keep up with global competition.



Read About the Heist

  • Chinese Woman Charged With Stealing Patented Seed Wants December Trial

    9/2/2014 4:22:00 AM
    She is one of seven people connected to Chinese agriculture biotechnology company DBN Group, which prosecutors say stole patented seed corn from fields in Iowa and Illinois and shipped it to China to try to reproduce its traits.
  • New Arrest 7/25/2014 9:08:00 PM
    An update on a ring of Chinese national thieves
  • Chinese Woman in Trade Secrets Case Seeks Release 7/17/2014 3:18:00 AM
    Mo Yun, who is charged with conspiring to steal trade secrets from U.S. seed companies, is asking to be released on bond so she can travel to California and to her homeland.
  • Chinese Woman Charged in Trade Secrets Theft Case 7/7/2014 9:29:00 AM
    The wife of a Chinese company's chairman has been charged with conspiracy to steal trade secrets from U.S. seed corn companies.
  • The Spy Effect 1/28/2014 6:39:00 PM
    From September 2011 to October 2012, Mo Hailong was busy.
  • Tech Heist: Same Story, Different Crop 1/25/2014 10:11:00 AM
    Weiqiang Zhang and Wengui Yan, both natives of China and living lawfully in the U.S., are charged with trying to smuggle Intellectual Property and proprietary rice seed out of the country.