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SolarWorld Seeks U.S. Investigation of China Cyber-Hacking

A unit of SolarWorld AG asked the U.S. Commerce Department to investigate a possible cyber-theft of communications by China during a trade dispute over solar-energy products.

The company’s lawyers asked the department to determine whether Chinese industry benefited from alleged computer hacking in a filing with the agency today. In a separate document, the company asked the agency to review the trade cases.

China’s alleged cyber hacking “has inflicted, and will likely continue to inflict, significant and, as yet, unquantified harm on SolarWorld,” the company said in one of the filings.

The Justice Department in May charged members of the Chinese military with stealing trade secrets from companies including SolarWorld and United States Steel Corp. by hacking into the businesses computers. The companies were involved in trade disputes with Chinese competitors at the time of the suspected violations.

The Bonn, Germany-based SolarWorld’s U.S. unit said the Commerce Department should require China to produce all documents that the military officials are said to have stolen and a list of entities that may have obtained the information.

Commerce Department spokeswoman Mary Trupo declined to comment.

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