Chinese businessman pleads guilty to stealing intellectual property as trend unfolds at US universities

A Chinese national pleaded guilty to sending cutting-edge defense technology from America to a Chinese military university.

Campus Reform has reported on Chinese entities’ attempts to steal intellectual property from America’s universities.

A Chinese national pleaded guilty to sending $100,000 worth of cutting-edge technology from American companies to a Chinese military university.

According to a Department of Justice press release, Shuren Qin — a Chinese national admitted to the United States through the Immigrant Investor Visa Program in 2014 — imported “goods and technology with underwater and marine applications into the PRC from the United States, Canada and Europe.”

He pleaded guilty to “one count of conspiracy to unlawfully export items from the United States” to China’s Northwestern Polytechnic University,” as well as “two counts of making false statements to law enforcement agents regarding his customers and the types of parts he caused to be exported,” four counts of money laundering, and two counts of smuggling hydrophones from the United States to China.

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As the DOJ details, Northwestern Polytechnic University “has been involved in the development of unmanned aerial vehicles, autonomous underwater vehicles and missile proliferation projects.” The items that Qin attempted to conceal from Customs and Border Patrol “have military applications and several of these items were delivered to military end-users in China.”

Qin engaged in visa fraud by “falsely certifying that he had not committed any crime for which he was not arrested since becoming a conditional permanent resident when, in fact, he had caused the illegal export of hydrophones in 2015.”

Qin faces a possible twenty-year prison sentence and $1 million fine for violating export laws, twenty years and $500,000 for the combined visa fraud and smuggling charges, and five years and $250,000 for the false statements charge.

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“Qin took advantage of the open marketplace in the United States to purchase sensitive technologies for a Chinese military university,” said Assistant Attorney General John Demers in the press release. “In addition, he lied on his visa application and to U.S. customs officers. When individuals illegally pursue personal profit at the expense of U.S. national security, DOJ will disrupt such conduct and punish those involved.”

Campus Reform has repeatedly reported upon Chinese Communist Party entities’ attempts to steal intellectual property from the United States — often from universities.

Last week, a professor at Southern Illinois University was indicted for “fraudulently obtained $151,099 in federal grant money from the National Science Foundation (NSF) by concealing support he was receiving from the Chinese government and a Chinese university.”

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The professor had “failed to inform NSF that he was on the payroll of Shenzhen University, a public university in Guangdong Province, and that he had already committed to teaching and conducting research at Shenzhen University from 2018 to 2023.”

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