2008: A Chinese engineer, living and
working in California, was convicted and sentenced to two years in prison for
stealing military technology and trying to sell it to China. The engineer, Meng
Xiaodong, worked for a company that developed night vision devices for pilots,
and a training system to help pilots learn how to use these devices when
flying. When the engineer left the firm (Quantum 3D), he took technical data
with him and tried to sell it to the air forces of China, Malaysia and
Thailand. He was caught before he could transfer the material, and accepted a
plea deal (avoiding a trial, but admitting his guilt).
Xiaodong knew that China was open to buying stolen technology, but was still learning
the details of how that worked when the FBI caught up with him. A lot of U.S.
military technology has shown up in Chinese equipment, and that stuff
apparently got stolen, transferred and paid for by people who did not get