Japan: 59-year-old Chinese researcher indicted over alleged data-leak

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Prosecutors in Tokyo have indicted a Chinese researcher at Japan’s National Institute of Industrial Technology on Wednesday for allegedly leaking data to a Chinese company, Kyodo News reported.

Quan Hengdao, 59, was fired on Wednesday by the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology after being detained in June on suspicion of breaking the legislation preventing unfair competition.

It was unclear if Quan had confessed to the allegation, as per Kyodo News.

Quan reportedly sent an email with data on fluorine compounds to a chemical product manufacturing firm in Beijing in April 2018, according to the written indictment and other sources. He had access to trade secrets at the institute in Ibaraki Prefecture at the time.

Fluorine compounds are utilised as an insulator in electrical equipment such as transformers and as an insulating gas.

In 2002, Quan was employed by the Japanese institution. According to investigative sources and Chinese websites, he also taught at the Beijing Institute of Technology, which is linked to China’s military, reported Kyodo News.

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