Posted on March 5, 2012

Guilty Plea in Theft of Dupont Secrets for China

Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle, March 3, 2012

A former DuPont Corp. scientist has pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit economic espionage for a company controlled by the Chinese government and agreed to testify against others charged with stealing secrets of a manufacturing process sought by China.

Tze Chao, 77, a DuPont employee from 1966 to 2002, admitted Thursday in a San Francisco federal court that he had provided confidential information about DuPont’s titanium dioxide process to the Chinese-controlled Pangang Group Co.

Titanium dioxide is a bright white pigment used in paints and other products such as powders, paper and toothpaste. DuPont’s chlorine-based process was eagerly sought by China, which used a less efficient and more environmentally harmful production method, according to court documents.


Pangang employees “overtly appealed to my Chinese ethnicity and asked me to work for the good” of the People’s Republic of China, Chao said. {snip}