German prosecutors on Thursday announced criminal charges against two Chinese-born German citizens accused of stealing data from a chemical reactor project and exploiting it for commercial gain in China.
Reuters reports the charges were first filed in June, the targeted company filed a complaint with the police about two years ago, and the alleged data theft occurred between 2011 and 2013.
Details of the sensitive case have been kept quiet until now, and prosecutors still declined to release the names of the accused, describing them only as a 48-year-old engineer and a 40-year-old accomplice, both German citizens of Chinese descent.
Reuters notes German industrialists are growing nervous about their dependence on the Chinese market, presumably due to the growing risk of copycat companies.
Deutsche Welle noted in a generally upbeat May assessment of Chinese-German economic relations that “German and European firms operating in China have long complained about the lack of a level playing field and uneven access to the Asian country’s gigantic market,” as well as Chinese data theft: