Feds: U. of Virginia Researcher Attempted to Flee to China with Stolen Research

Top government leaders told NPR that federal agencies are years behind where they could have been if Chinese cybertheft had been openly addressed earlier. Bill Hinton Photography/Getty Images
Bill Hinton Photography/Getty Images

Researcher Hu Haizhou of the University of Virginia was arrested on Friday as he attempted to fly to China, charged with theft over his possession of extensive research conducted by the university for the development of underwater robotics and submersible vehicles. Haizhou is just one of many foreign researchers that have been charged with crimes relating to the theft of research from American universities.

According to a report by the Washington Examiner, researcher Hu Haizhou of the University of Virginia was arrested on Friday prior to his scheduled departure on a flight to China. At the airport, Haizhou was allegedly found to be in possession of research conducted over years at the University of Virginia.

A press release published by the Department of Justice on Friday revealed that Haizhou had unauthorized possession of simulation software research that was conducted over the course of years at the University of Virginia.

According to court documents, investigators first became aware of Hu, who is in the United States conducting research studying bio-mimics and fluid dynamics at the University of Virginia, on August 25, 2020 when he attempted to board a flight to China at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. A routine screening conducted by authorities revealed that Hu was alleged to be in possession of bio-inspired research simulation software code that he was not authorized to possess, and which represented the result of years of research and resources in its development by members of the University of Virginia academic community.

Haizhou is hardly the first foreign professor to be accused of stealing research from American universities. Breitbart News reported in June that Xin Wang of the University of California, San Francisco, was arrested at the Los Angeles Airport as he was trying to leave the country with research funded by the United States government.

Breitbart News reported in January that Professor Feng Tao of the University of Kansas was charged with two counts of wire fraud and one count of program fraud over his participation in a program designed by the Chinese government to steal American research.

Stay tuned to Breitbart News for more updates on this story.

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