Newsmax TV & Webwww.newsmax.comFREE - In Google Play
Newsmax TV & Webwww.newsmax.comFREE - On the App Store
Skip to main content
Tags: Emerging Threats | Exclusive Interviews | Gen. Michael Hayden | Chinese | nationals | indicted | espionage

Gen. Hayden to Newsmax: China Will Hit Back for Silicon Valley Charges

By    |   Tuesday, 19 May 2015 09:01 PM

Retired Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden told Newsmax on Tuesday that China would most assuredly fire back against the United States "one way or another" after six Chinese nationals were indicted for stealing wireless technology from two large American companies in a scheme hatched in 2006 after three of them left the University of Southern California with graduate degrees.

"Stand by to be boarded, the Chinese are going to retaliate one way or another because of this," Hayden, who directed both the CIA and the National Security Agency, said in an exclusive interview.

"If I'm advising Americans traveling to China or American companies doing business in China, I would say be extra cautious so as not to give the Chinese a pretext to retaliate against them," he said.

Three of the nationals — Hao Zhang, Wei Pang, and Huisui Zhang — were indicted for conspiring to steal technology from Skyworks Solutions and Avago Technologies soon after they graduated together from USC, according to federal prosecutors.

The companies supply parts for Apple’s iPhone and other devices, The Wall Street Journal reports. The technology also has military applications, according to The Financial Times.

They all were charged with economic espionage and trade secret theft in a 32-page indictment that was unsealed after Hao Zhang was arrested Saturday at Los Angeles International Airport.

He had arrived from China to attend a scientific conference, according to officials. Hao Zhang was being held in custody after a brief court appearance on Monday in Los Angeles. The five others are believed to be in China.

According to the indictment, they allegedly stole "recipes, source code, specifications, presentations, design layouts and other documents marked as confidential."

They had hoped to use the stolen U.S. data to set up a factory in China to manufacture technology that eliminates interference from wireless communications, according to the indictment.

The USC graduates had received encouragement and support from officials at the state-run Tianjin University, the indictment states.

The theft of U.S. technology by foreign governments is one of the biggest threats to the country's economy and national security, officials said. They are particularly concerned with China.

"This case demonstrates that the U.S. is committed to protecting U.S. companies' trade secrets and their proprietary business information from theft," State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said Tuesday. "This is an important issue for the United States."

A representative at the Chinese Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment, while the Chinese consulate in San Francisco said it was unaware of the indictment and declined to comment.

Hayden told Newsmax that he was "glad to see" the men charged. "That’s a crime. They’re prosecuting a crime."

He remarked, however, at the boldness of Chinese spying against the U.S. in recent years.

"I publicly say that I stand back in awe at the breath, depth, and persistence of the Chinese espionage effort against the United States," Hayden said. "It is a thing to behold."

Hayden referenced the 2009 case involving the Rio Tinto mining company in Australia in his belief that Beijing would repay the U.S. for the indictment.

That year, China arrested four Rio Tinto employees in Shanghai and an Australian import executive, charging them with bribery and espionage in the alleged theft of Chinese trade secrets.

Beijing later dropped the espionage charges, and the five were later convicted of bribery. One of the Rio Tinto workers received as much as 10 years in prison.

"They have a different understanding of what constitutes espionage there," Hayden said. "They're liable to sweep up a foreigner or a foreign-national employee of an American firm, and because they had a business lunch with a Chinese citizen who talked about some aspect of business, the Chinese will define that as a state secret and prosecute them.

"That could very well happen again, but that doesn't discourage me," Hayden said. "This is the right thing to do."

Elaborating further, he described the Chinese definition of espionage as including "industrial secrets, trade secrets, and intellectual property, which they steal for profit."

According to the indictment in this case, Wei Pang sent an email to China within months after the nationals graduated in 2006 saying that the technology they planned to steal was worth $1 billion a year in the phone market alone.

In 2006, Hao Zhang worked for Skyworks Solutions in Woburn, Massachusetts, and Wei Pang took a job in Fort Collins, Colorado, with Avago Technologies. That company is based in San Jose, California, and Singapore.

The men quit their U.S. jobs in spring of 2009 to become professors at Tianjin University, a prestigious Chinese college 130 miles southeast of Beijing. They worked with administrators and a graduate student to establish a Chinese company to make the technology from the data they had stolen, according to the indictment.

"This could be just raw theft for profit by these individuals," Hayden told Newsmax.

"They're very aggressive," he added of Beijing overall. "They're not the best in the world at it. They're actually fairly noisy.

"The Russians are much more sophisticated, but the scale of the Chinese efforts is just amazing."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Retired Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden told Newsmax on Tuesday that China would most assuredly fire back against the United States "one way or another" after six Chinese nationals were indicted for stealing wireless technology from two large American companies.
Gen. Michael Hayden, Chinese, nationals, indicted, espionage, steal, technology, USC, graduate students
Tuesday, 19 May 2015 09:01 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
Join the Newsmax Community
Read and Post Comments
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Download the NewsmaxTV App
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved