Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Economic Espionage: Competing For Trade By Stealing Industrial Secrets

In September 2012 FBI agents in Kansas City, Missouri, arrested two Chinese
nationals, Huang Ji Li and Qi Xiao Guang, after they paid $25,000 in cash
for stolen trade secrets pertaining to an American company's manufacture of
cellular-glass insulation, or foam glass. Huang trespassed onto the
company's flagship plant in Sedalia, Missouri, 3 months prior and asked
suspiciously detailed questions about the facility's manufacturing process
for the insulation. It also is believed he approached an employee at the
company's corporate headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, just days
before seeking to build a foam-glass factory in China.

The company is the world's leader in developing and manufacturing
cellular-glass insulation; its Missouri plant produces about 90 percent of
stock. The trademarked, lightweight, fireproof, and mold-resistant product
is useful as insulation in buildings, industrial piping systems, and
liquefied-natural-gas storage-tank bases. China represents a strong market
for this type of insulation.

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