What the Hua Jun Zhao case says about China’s economic espionage

by Chris Zappone

Another Chinese citizen has been sentenced for a crime related to economic espionage.

Hua Jun Zhao, originally charged with stealing three vials of experimental cancer-fighting drug, was sentenced for computer tampering. At first glance, I bet the prosecutor didn’t want to dredge up the details of the experimental drug to the public.

But it’s important to note these were vials not of a commercial drug, ready to scale-up and sell. Instead, they would have likely advanced someone else’s research.

And that’s at the heart of the tensions between the US and China.