back to article Chinese prof sent down for 18 months for stealing semiconductor secrets, trying to patent them to cover tracks

A Chinese professor who stole trade secrets from a Silicon Valley semiconductor company was yesterday sentenced to 18 months in jail and fined $476,835. Hao Zhang, 41, was found guilty of economic espionage and theft of trade secrets in June, and was facing up to 15 years in the clink. He’s been in custody for five years …

  1. jason_derp Bronze badge

    Oh I see

    “Theft is not innovation. By combating theft, we protect innovation and freedom.”

    Those equestrian lessons are paying off, I see.

    1. TDog

      Re: Oh I see

      So for over 100 years the US only recognised copyright if it was possessed by a US citizen. And even then it did it grudgingly. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berne_Convention_Implementation_Act_of_1988 ). So they were quite happy to steal from Europe and the rest of the world, as part of a political policy, through all parties being in power.

      Please forgive me if I quote the old introduction: "Pot, Kettle. Kettle, Pot". Oh and by the way, "Theft is not innovation." But, failure to innovate, or at least conform with international law, apparently was theft. For over 100 years. I have little sympathy with the claims and concerns of reformed thiefs.

      1. llaryllama

        Re: Oh I see

        Considering that almost every state in existence has done Bad Things at some point, why bother trying to make anything better and just let the citizens of the world run rampant?

        1. jason_derp Bronze badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Oh I see

          "Considering that almost every state in existence has done Bad Things at some point, why bother trying to make anything better and just let the citizens of the world run rampant?"

          I'm not against making things better. I am against self-righteous bullshittery from mealy-mouthed cogs that only pop their heads up like a whack-a-mole game for the sake propagandistic "do-as-I-say..." platitudes.

  2. John Doe 12

    The Lord giveth.....

    ...and the Chinese take away :-D

  3. Richard Boyce

    5 years before even being tried?

    Is this 18 months in addition to the 5 years he's served prior to trial? If not, the 18 months would seem to be very lenient, by US standards. If the 18 months genuinely fits the crime, then it suggests that he's been dealt an injustice by being overpunished. I would like to know more about why everything took so long. Is it common for people in the US to spend such a long time in jail before being tried?

    1. You aint sin me, roit Silver badge

      Re: 5 years before even being tried?

      Levandowski got 18 months for "the biggest trade secret crime I have ever seen" (according to the judge).

      But of course he hadn't been held for 5 years prior to his conviction...

  4. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge

    "I would like to know more about why everything took so long"

    Fear of retaliation.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    18 Months

    Good job he only stole extremely valuable IP instead of trying to steal a set of hedge clippers, otherwise he might have got a life sentence.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/08/05/louisiana-supreme-court-life-sentence/

    1. Aitor 1

      Re: 18 Months

      It wasnt the pliers, it was the fact that he was a repeat offender.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 18 Months

      If you read the article you posted he didn't get life imprisonment for stealing hedge clippers, it was due to the prior felony convictions of armed robbery, fraud and home burglary.

      In my personal opinion there is a middle ground that involves rehabilitation over long prison sentences and life imprisonment is still too long in this case.. however, saying that he got this term for stealing hedge clippers is somewhat disingenuous.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: 18 Months

        "It was due to the prior felony convictions "

        The USA doesn't have a justice system, it has a legal system (but this is true everywhere and one of the first lessons all aspiring lawyers have rammed down their throats no matter what university they go to)

        Unlike every other legal system worldwide, the US criminal legal system pivots on revenge, retaliation and retribution. Most of the rest of the world realised a long time ago this leads to endless escalation and work on repair, reconciliation and prevention(cycle-breaking) instead.

        Unfortunately the USA is hellbent on exporting their versions of law, democracy and religion to the rest of the world.

  6. tunedinturnedon

    Fry them! and bring the death sentence for IP theft by non-citizens

    Yes, you really need to come down hard on these thieves, esp, since they are stealing for a communist regime. Read this:

    https://www.barrons.com/articles/china-is-waging-cyber-enabled-economic-war-on-the-u-s-how-to-fight-back-51596587400?link=TD_marketwatch_home_page.83461b39d1bfc251&utm_source=marketwatch_home_page.83461b39d1bfc251&utm_campaign=circular&utm_medium=BARRONS&adobe_mc=MCMID%3D33949708728845926404616623193477447522%7CMCORGID%3DCB68E4BA55144CAA0A4C98A5%2540AdobeOrg%7CTS%3D1596799746

  7. sitta_europea

    Perhaps I'd be more sympathetic if I didn't think they were all at it, and all lying bastards.

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