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China’s Suspected IP Thieves Targeted by Twins’ Utah Startup

Strider Technologies scours open-source data in China to identify technologies most at risk of being stolen — and the people who might be tempted to steal them. China’s government calls IP theft allegations ‘malicious slandering.’

Twins Greg Levesque, right, and Eric Levesque credit their missions for the Mormon Church for helping develop the foreign language skills and international exposure that has informed their work countering Chinese intellectual property theft.

Twins Greg Levesque, right, and Eric Levesque credit their missions for the Mormon Church for helping develop the foreign language skills and international exposure that has informed their work countering Chinese intellectual property theft.

Photographer: Kim Raff/Bloomberg

Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee has for decades been a hotbed of US nuclear experimentation. It’s also a target for countries seeking to steal American secrets. More than 1,700 technologies developed in the lab are in China’s crosshairs, according to three-year-old startup Strider Technologies Inc. The list includes ion beams, nuclear power equipment and energy storage materials.

Using custom software to scour widely available sources of information on China’s internet, Strider executives said they identified two postdoctoral researchers in nanotechnology who, while working at Oak Ridge, were recruited into China’s Youth Thousand Talents Program. The researchers were lured by perks including a grant of 500,000 yuan (about $75,000) apiece and other subsidies worth up to 3 million yuan (about $450,000), the executives said. Both relocated to China and are now employed by university labs with ties to China’s defense industry, they said.