back to article Couple charged over hybrid car industrial espionage plot

A Michigan couple faces charges of stealing industrial secrets on hybrid cars from GM before attempting to sell the data to a Chinese auto manufacturer. Yu Qin, 49, and his wife, Shanshan Du, 51, of Troy, Michigan have been charged with four offences, including unauthorised possession of trade secrets and wire fraud under an …

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  1. Rogerborg
    Jobs Horns

    See? See?

    This is why all R&D should be done in China, where the workers are honest and industrious, well away from greedy deceitful thieving American citizens.

  2. JaitcH
    Pint

    There's an App for that ...

    TRUECRIPT!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Happy

      Turecript?

      Is that some sort of knock-off Truecrypt?

      /Pedant

  3. xj25vm

    Hmm

    Well, can't claim to be an expert in the field - but the Chinese have been selling small full electric cars in the US for few years now. And the new Chevy Volt (which the stolen research I suppose was for) can only do 40 miles on electric only (apparently). Can't help but think they should have gone and stolen stuff from some other company that has stuff worth stealing - we don't really want another car which can barely qualify as a hybrid - and can't even muster similar specs to cars which have been on the market for a good while. Oh, I know - they should have stolen the specs of the old GM EV1 - at least that could do about 130 miles on a charge - better then the new and 'improved' Volt.

    Well, just my opinion anyway. It's Friday and it has been a long week, after all :-)

    1. Disco-Legend-Zeke
      Pint

      Supposedly, All The...

      ...design and software for the original electric car were carefully shredded when the big oil companies made GM ditch the EV1.

      Not to keep it from the Chinese, but to keep it from the American Market.

  4. Sly
    Grenade

    Have you seen the quality of Chinese automobiles?

    Even if they had managed to steal the secrets, it's not like they could build them for crap.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Fixed that for you

    "As our auto industry works to find new areas of innovation, such as hybrid technology, we will not tolerate the theft of our trade secrets from foreign competitors"

    While completely supporting stealing ideas and technology from foreign competitors and sulking when said competitors get an advantage over us - as per the American way.

    Cases in point: BAE systems paid a Saudi prince to get a contract. Public view - that's terrible how dare they. Translation - Boo hoo, they got the contract because we didn't offer enough money

    Americans steal Jet and stealth technology from BAE - that's all fine and dandy, spirit of competition dontcha know.

    Libya oil: Scottish government release a terrorist on medical grounds with the help of BP who then get drilling rights. Public view - that's terribel, how dare they negotiate with terrorists. Translation - Boo hoo, we had nothing the Libyans wanted and they wouldn't give an American company the rights to drill for all that lovely oil.

    Where's the F off USA icon?

    1. Eric Crowley
      Coat

      Where's

      the F off shit post icon?

      I'm don't give a damn about the Lockerbie bomber release or any subsequent BP drilling rights in Libya, but also sure as hell don't want BP pumping hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil into our waters..

      As for supposedly stealing "Jet and stealth technology from BAE," it's funny how much kit the world buys from Lockheed and the US government. The RAF would wet themselves to get their hands on an F-22.. equal to the Typhoon my ass.

      Troll over.. i'll get me coat.

  6. BristolBachelor Gold badge
    Coat

    Data security

    "The circumstances of the case raise serious questions about the security controls applied by GM to safeguard its research around the time of the alleged data theft."

    Oh come on, that's a bit unfair.

    It's not like they are the department of defence storing secret UFO files, or a government agency storing peoples tax or health records, or a list of all vulnerable children...

  7. justkyle
    Black Helicopters

    The real question is...

    Were these H1B hired workers by G.M.? Does anybody know?

    For those of you across the pond who don't know, this is a lovely U.S. program that allows foreign immigrants into our workforce to work for sub-par pay. I believe they may have similar programs in the U.K. to keep costs down with the NHS?

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Happy

      @justkyle

      At 49 and 51 (listed in the article) that would make them *very* late new graduates, unless they have mad technical skills and multiple degrees.

      I'd guess *long* term GM employees who got the heave ho after 25 to 30 years with the company.

      The real questions will depend on what jobs they *did* in GM.

      If they didn't work on the Hybrid project, how *could* they get access to so *much* data, and then bring it *out*?

  8. TimeMaster T
    FAIL

    Any bets

    On whether China already has this info?

    These two sound more like they thought they could have a cushy retirement if they grabbed some data from GM and sold it to China.

    I would lay good odds on China already having that data. Collected by that quiet, hard working, never miss a day, too useful to lay off engineer, you know the one that never attracts any attention or makes waves.

    The spies who get caught are the dumb ones, the smart ones don't set up a company and try to sell the stolen data to a foreign company.

  9. Ole Juul

    You've got to be kidding

    GM trade secrets? Very funny. Oh, I get it. This is like the Russian spies who were found to use invisible ink. They want to make a spy trade with China now.

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Too true.

      GM's 'leccy wonder is the Volt/Ampera.

      They've had to make it a pure series hybrid (even though it *can* drive the wheels with the ICE) to avoid treading on anyone else's IP (Aisin / Toyota) and now they've found it's performance is shit, are negotiating a licensing deal with an unnamed third party (Aisin / Toyota) so they can switch it to a series/parallel hybrid system.

      I can't help thinking that whoever's trying to flog this stuff might be better off getting the real deal from said unnamed third party (Aisin / Toyota). This sort of thing: http://www.aisin.com/product/automotive/drivetrain/ot.html

  10. CC

    The Chinese needed a good laugh

    When the Chinese reviewed the GM documents they probably couldn't stop laughing.

  11. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    EV1 questions aside

    Hybrids will remain *much* more palatable in the US market for some time to come. It's the fuel infrastructure and the running out of juice in the middle of nowhere issues.

  12. Ross 7

    $40m?

    "GM reportedly places a value of $40m on the stolen documents."

    Steve bend over! I need to pull a number out of your arse

  13. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Happy

    @Ross 7

    It would have been $800k if they only had to get them extradited from the UK.

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