A Chinese foreign exchange student and his handler were accused by the U.S. government of attempting to steal trade secrets from American companies. While most companies sell stuff on the internet, some companies actually produce innovative technologies that are protected by patents. If there is one thing communists do not care about, it’s patents or intellectual property. The student was accused of collecting the names of major scientists and engineers to target for theft of trade secrets. His handler was also convicted at trial in the first criminal case against a Chinese spy in the history of the U.S.
The student was caught after attempting to recruit a contact stateside. He texted a picture of his contract with the Chinese intelligence agency MSS. Prosecutors used this image to convict the student. However, they had to explain to the jury why a Chinese spy would use his cell phone to text spy contracts. They managed to convince the jury that while spies tend to have a very select skill set, not all of them are of James Bond quality. In fact, the Chinese government likely recruited the student because he was an electrical engineering major and not because he was a smooth sociopath acting at the behest of his national interests. The student seemed particularly interested in scientists from China and Taiwan working in the aerospace field. Seven of the scientists worked for U.S. defense contractors.
The student graduated from college in 2015 and then enlisted in the army reserves through a program that attracts foreign nationals with specialized skills considered vital to U.S. military defense.