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Chinese citizen charged with stealing trade secrets in Oklahoma



TULSA, Okla. (AP) – The federal prosecutors said Friday that a Chinese citizen employed by a mineral oil company in Oklahoma has been charged with stealing trade secrets.

The authorities said that 35-year-old Hongjin Tan has been accused of stealing trade secrets. His unnamed US employer runs a research facility in the Tulsa area.

An affidavit filed by the FBI alleged that Tan stole trade secrets about an unidentified product of $ 1.4 to $ 1.8 billion for a Chinese corporation benefitting a Chinese company. Tan was offered work ,

According to the authorities, Tan allegedly downloaded hundreds of computer files including research reports on the production of a "downstream energy market research and development product".

The reports have not only described how the system should be manufactured product, which the company says "is a complicated and technically difficult process", but also the company's plans to manufacture the product in China and in the mobile phone market and illuminate hium-based battery systems, the affidavit states.

"These files contained information that (the company) views as business secrets and is outside Tan's sphere of employment," the affidavit states.

A LinkedIn profile lists Hongjin Tan, whose background matches the descriptions in the affidavit, and claims to be a research associate at the Phillips 66 Research Center in Bartlesville, approximately 66 kilometers north of Tulsa.

A Phillips 66 spokeswoman, Melissa Ory, in an email to The Associated Press, said the Houston-based company "is working with the FBI on an ongoing investigation involving a former employee at our Bartlesville location was involved ". Ory declined to discuss further details.

Tan shows a first appearance on Thursday before a federal judge and remains in custody. A preliminary hearing and a hearing on Tan is scheduled for next week.


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