Convicted: Ex-Coca-Cola employee sold U.S. trade secrets to China

A Tennessee federal jury recently convicted a U.S. citizen of conspiracy to steal trade secrets, economic espionage and wire fraud.

Dr. Xiaorong You, aka Shannon You, 59, of Lansing, Michigan, was convicted following a 12-day trial for stealing Coca-Cola’s valuable trade secrets and selling them to China while working for Coca-Cola.

You received millions of dollars in Chinese government grants, including a Thousand Talents Program awards, to set up and support a BPA-free coating company in China, all while employed by Coca-Cola. The Thousand Talents Program was reportedly started by China in 2008 allegedly to entice U.S. scientists and researchers to improperly hand over U.S. research and other intellectual property.

Relationships among U.S. academics, academic institutions and industry, and China have come under scrutiny with China’s reported theft of American intellectual property. Investigators say the Chinese government deploys numerous tactics to steal valuable research and other information, often material funded at U.S. taxpayer expense. The tactics include recruiting or using academics and students at American universities.

Just over a year ago, the head of Harvard University’s chemistry department was arrested on charges related to his alleged ties to China’s communist government. Charles Lieber, 60, was accused of lying to the Department of Defense and the National Institutes of Health about his participation in China’s Thousand Talents Program. Lieber was indicted on the charges in June 2020.

You is scheduled to be sentenced on November 1st.

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3 thoughts on “Convicted: Ex-Coca-Cola employee sold U.S. trade secrets to China”

  1. I worked for a major medical manufacturing company and on numerous occasions they caught Chinese nationals trying to steal secrets. The Federal Marshalls arrested one getting ready to get on the plane and he had hard drives full of company documents. Since it was a company that manufactured globally they had one computer system that had all the manufacturing documents including drawings, procedures etc. When the system went live in China it had to be shut down within a week because so much information was being stolen. I had one engineer from a major adhesives company tell me that they tried manufacturing in China. They had to split processes up to multiple plants because of the theft of info and finally they gave up and moved the operations back to the US.
    Yet companies seem to keep going there for the low costs. Patents and Trademarks mean nothing to them.

  2. Communist China is not our Friend.
    Some people have warned that the ChiComs would invade America because we could not pay on the massive debt we have acquired. I discounted those warning because they do not have the capacity to move the number of troops they would need. I no longer discount the possibility.

    My Dad told me about a Chic Com student who pulverized a would be mugger on the U of Nebraska Campus-Lincoln. She was a Red Army Captain. Tens of thousands of ChiCom students attend American universities. As with most students, they are of military age.
    There there the hairball idea of Chinese Birth Tourism. Tens of Thousands of ChiCom mothers-to-be come to America to drop a kid and return home with an American citizen, birth certificate in hand. They can travel with a US Passport and we cannot refuse their return to the place of their birth.

    Long ago, I read that the Soviet Union would spend 20 years to develop a spy ring in the US and Communist China would spend 50 years.

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