The fourth person accused of stealing trade secrets from British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) for a company funded by the Chinese Communist regime has accepted her guilt, according to the Department of Justice.
Lucy Xi, 44, pleaded guilty to theft to benefit the Chinese pharmaceutical company, Renopharma, which received financial support and grants from the Communist Party of China (CCP), the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania said Jan. 3.
Lucy in partnership with fellow defendants Yu Xue, Tao Li and Yan Mei, her husband, created Renopharma, based in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China, purportedly to research and develop cancer drugs, but was actually used to collect secrets stolen from GSK.
As early as January 2015, Lucy Xi began sending documents containing confidential information extracted from GSK to Yan Mei. They contained a summary of monoclonal antibody research.
Lucy Xi emphasized to her husband, “You need to understand it very well. It will help you in your future business [RENOPHARMA].” The shady information transfer also involved Yu Xue, Tao Li.
However, the FBI intervened as early as January 5, 2016, when it arrested Li and found several GSK documents on his computer containing confidential and trade secret information received from Xue.
Two years later, Xue pleaded guilty on August 31, 2018. For his part, “Dr. Li illegally stole trade secrets to benefit himself and his company, which was funded by the Chinese government,” said U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain.
He added: “The lifeblood of companies like GSK is its intellectual property, and when that property is stolen and transferred to a foreign country, it threatens thousands of jobs here in America.”
He said, “Not only is this a serious crime, but it is literally a form of economic warfare against American interests. Such criminal behavior must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
On the other hand, the CCP has been continuously accused and found guilty of theft of intellectual property, trade secrets and personal data in the United States, through its agents and other bribed individuals.
In June, a federal jury in Cincinnati, Ohio convicted Yanjun Xu, a spy for the CCP’s Ministry of Security, of committing economic espionage and attempting to steal U.S. aviation trade secrets by luring industry experts to China, according to a U.S. Department of Justice report.
Likewise, on August 4, during a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing, former Trump administration national security advisor Matthew Pottinger warned of the danger posed by the CCP to the American people.
On that occasion he spoke about the amount of data on each American held by the Chinese regime and pointed out that with that information it can build a dossier on each person, since through technology it stole personal data to carry out a surveillance operation on a global scale.
He also stated that the Chinese government took the usual Leninist practice of collecting dossiers on individuals to a level never seen before, thanks to social networks and 5G, and that the material collected is being used to “influence and intimidate, reward and blackmail, flatter and humiliate, divide and conquer.”
And he added that the CCP has data collected from children and that they are “a fair target according to Beijing’s rules of political warfare.”