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A Chinese national has been federally charged for stealing Google’s artificial intelligence technology trade secrets.

Linwei Ding, a former Google software engineer, faces four counts of trade secret theft for allegedly transferring over 500 confidential files to his personal account. Ding’s illicit activities began in May 2022 when he started uploading the stolen files, evading detection by converting data into PDFs through the Apple Notes app.


According to the Justice Department, Ding had contact with two AI companies based in China. One company’s CEO offered Ding the chief technology officer (CTO) role. From that point, Ding traveled to China and participated in various investor meetings to raise funds for the company.

In a statement, Attorney General Merrick Garland said, “The Justice Department will not tolerate the theft of artificial intelligence and other advanced technologies that could put our national security at risk. We will fiercely protect sensitive technologies developed in America from falling into the hands of those who should not have them.” FBI Director Christopher Wray also chimed in, saying, “Today’s charges are the latest illustration of the lengths affiliates of companies based in the People’s Republic of China are willing to go to steal American innovation.”


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