Three German Citizens Arrested for Industrial Espionage for China

German investigative publications reported this morning that three German nationals were arrested on suspicion of working for the Chinese Ministry of State Security (MSS). These people were attempting to procure information on lasers and machine parts for combat vehicles for the Chinese intelligence agency. Th identities of the two suspects have been released; Der Spiegel has reported that they are a 59-year-old man from Bad Homburg and a couple from Düsseldorf were arrested.

The 59-year-old man, Thomas R. was charged by the MSS with procuring “innovative technologies that can be used for military purposes”, then using a company led by Herwig (72) and Ina F. (58) in Düsseldorf to transmit those documents to the Chinese. In addition to securing this information, the three suspects successfully exported a domestically produced laser to China.

This announcement comes the same say as German Chancellor Scholz landed in Beijing for a three-day visit to speak with President Xi about fair competition, among other topics. It is not currently clear if such an arrest will ruffle the visit.

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