USC At Center Of Alleged Chinese Espionage Ring

In some unwelcome news, the University of Southern California looks to be the center of an alleged Chinese spying ring, formed by three former graduate students from the school's electrical engineering school. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, it has charged six defendants with economic espionage and theft of trade secrets, which benefited the People's Republic of China. The indictment names former USC graduate students and now Tianjin University professors Wei Pang and Hao Zhang, along with Huisui Zhang and three others. Pang and Zhang allegedly transferred stolen technology from Avago Technology and Skyworks Solutions related to the development of thin-film bulk acoustic resonator (FBAR) technology that had originally been developed under a DARPA grant at USC. Pang and Zhang both received their Ph.D.s in 2006; Zhang received his a masters in 2006. The stolen trade secrets alleged in the indictment belong to Avago or Skyworks. The DOJ said those trade secrets were transferred to universities and companies controlled by the PRC government.