Electrical engineer found guilty in China weapons tech export plot
An electrical engineer in California has been convicted for his role in a scheme to export sensitive electronics with military uses to China, the US Department of Justice announced on 2 July.
A federal jury found part-time Los Angeles resident Yi-Chi Shih, 64, guilty of multiple charges as part of the scheme to steal integrated circuitry from an American company that cannot be exported without Commerce Department authorisation, the department said in a statement.
Shih's conviction comes amid heightened scrutiny of Chinese academics on American campuses, part of a climate of hardening mistrust between Beijing and Washington, which has accused China of systematic industrial espionage.
Local media reported that Shih was a part-time professor at the University of California, Los Angeles.
A co-defendant, Kiet Ahn Mai of Pasadena, California, pleaded guilty in December 2018.
Federal prosecutors say Shih improperly accessed the web portal of the unnamed US company to acquire design services and other items for so-called monolithic microwave integrated circuits, or MMICs.
Such technology has both commercial and military applications and is used in missiles, missile guidance systems, fighter jets, radar and electronic warfare, according to the Justice Department.
Semiconductor chips were then shipped to a Chinese company called Chengdu GaStone Technology, which was in the process of building an MMIC factory and of which Shih had served as president.
The Commerce Department placed CGTC on its 'entity list' in 2014, declaring it a national security threat and requiring prior authorisation for sales of American technology to the company.
After a six-week trial, Shih was convicted in Los Angeles on 26 June of conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, mail fraud, wire fraud, false tax returns, false statements to a government agency and conspiracy to commit cybertheft, according to the Justice Department.
More from Digital Battlespace
New US developer LightRidge to take on air and space sensor markets
The private-equity backed firm combines the businesses of space payloads specialist GEOST and airborne sensor manufacturer Ophir.
Northrop Grumman to commence work on MESA sensors for US Air Force E-7 AEW fleet
The USAF will become the fifth operator of the E-7/MESA combination following Australia, Turkey, South Korea and the UK.
Northrop Grumman details bid for US Navy TACAMO aircraft replacement
The company believes its role as prime contractor on the E-2 Hawkeye puts it in a strong position for the programme to replace the USN's Boeing E-6 Mercury fleet.
Northrop Grumman hones US Space Force satellite design in virtual environment
The company has applied its Highly Immersive Virtual Environment technology to the design process of polar overwatch satellites ordered by the US Space Force.
Northrop Grumman joins USAF effort to build digital network backbone
The company will join Phase 1 of the Common Tactical Edge Network effort to enable Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2).
Raytheon satellite network will help track hypersonic threats
Raytheon Technologies has received an award worth over $250 million to design, develop and deliver a seven-vehicle networked missile tracking satellite constellation from the US Space Development …