Pangang brought to US court for trade theft

By He Shan
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, February 10, 2012
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 A booth of Pangang Group at an exhibition. [CFP]

China's vanadium company Pangang Group was taken to court in the U.S. by DuPont Co. over alleged theft of trade secrets, according to an indictment filed by the court.

A grand jury in Northern Carolina decided to sue Pangang Group, accusing the company of orchestrating business espionage, including theft of trade secrets.

The court has accused Pangang, among other defendants, of conspiring with a Chinese-American couple in California, Walter and Christina Liew, of stealing a titanium dioxide technology from DuPont.

Defendants of the case also include two executives of Pangang Group's subsidiary, Pangang Group Steel Vanadium & Titanium Co. Ltd.

"The business espionage committed by the defendants has greatly dented in the national security and economic interests of the U.S., making American companies less competitive in the global market," DuPont said in the indictment.

Pangang Group was not available for comment on the issue.

The subsidiary company was suspended from trading starting Thursday for the reason that a significant event that may greatly impact share price is yet to be disclosed.

Panfang Group, a manufacturer of vanadium in Sichuan Province, is China's largest and the world's second largest vanadium producer.

DuPont's charges are the latest episode of a string of patent disputes between China and the U.S. Earlier, a former engineer for Motorola Inc. was convicted of stealing trade secrets from the mobile company but was cleared of charges claiming she had connections with a Chinese company and China's military.

"This case [between DuPont and Pangang] is a reflection of the U.S.'s long-time wariness and hostility towards Chinese companies," Zhang Malin, a law professor at China's Southeast University. "It tries to put down those Chinese companies to protect the interests of the indigenous companies."

China's business press carried the story above on Friday.

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