Chinese Espionage Includes Agriculture

October 11, 2018 10:01 AM
Chinese theft of U.S. intellectual property has also hit the agricultural sector.

The arrest of a Chinese intelligence official in Belgium this week on espionage charges and subsequent extradition to the United States has raised the already fraught tensions between the U.S. and China. The suspect stands accused of stealing intellectual property from U.S. aviation firms. But that is not the only sector that has seen significant intellectual property theft by the Chinese. In late 2013 federal authorities rounded up a ring of Chinese nationals accused of stealing seed that held the trade secrets of American agricultural companies.

The ringleader pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years in prison for the theft. 

The farm angle to the story seemed to come straight out of a spy novel, with spies taking daring risks to dig seed from Iowa research fields and ship the samples back to China.

Revisit the action, and the subsequent impact on trade relations with China, in AgWeb's series of coverage on Seeds of Deceit.

Tech Heist: Seeds of Deceit

Tech Heist: Same Story, Different Crop

Seed Thief Pleads Guilty

Verdict in Seed Espionage Case

Back to news


Spell Check

Super G
Elkin, NC
10/11/2018 06:43 PM

  The hell with a trial, hand them over to Secretary of Defense: General “Mad Dog” Mattis and let him sort it out

Charlie Kraus
Hays, KS
10/11/2018 08:43 PM

  Send him to a US re-education camp.

Augusta, ME
10/12/2018 07:34 AM

  I'm not saying it's right, or we shouldn't punish these guy's to the full extent of the law but don't make it sound like the Chinese are the only ones. Heck, even the Israelis were caught trying to steal our high-tech!


Corn College TV Education Series


Get nearly 8 hours of educational video with Farm Journal's top agronomists. Produced in the field and neatly organized by topic, from spring prep to post-harvest. Order now!


Market Data provided by
Brought to you by Beyer