A Chinese citizen has admitted to industrial spying in the United States against Monsanto, an agricultural company currently part of the German Bayer Group. Xiang Haitao, a 44-year-old imaging scientist, pleaded guilty yesterday to plotting to engage in industrial espionage on behalf of China, the U.S. Justice Department said. According to the Justice Department, Chiang stole software developed by Monsanto to help farmers improve their crop yields.
From 2008 to 2017, Jiang worked for Monsanto and its subsidiary The Climate Corporation. “I tried to steal Monsanto’s trade secret, transfer it to a memory card and bring it to the People’s Republic of China for the benefit of the Chinese government,” said Deputy Attorney General Matthew Olson.
“U.S. citizens or foreigners will not be allowed to pass on important business information to competitors in other countries,” said Sailor Fleming, the state’s attorney for the eastern district of the U.S. state of Missouri. It is the headquarters of the Monsanto Group, which was acquired in 2018 by DAX company Bayer. Chiang is due to be sentenced on April 7. He faces up to 15 years in prison and a $ 5 million fine.
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