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Cupertino man jailed for exporting tech to China

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The founder of a Cupertino tech firm has become the latest to fall foul of tough US laws restricting the sale of military technology to China, after he was banged up for over a year.

Fu-Tain Lu was sentenced to 15 months in the slammer after pleading guilty to selling sensitive microwave amplifiers to the People’s Republic without a license, according to the FBI.

Lu is the owner of small-time Silicon Valley biz Fushine Technology, a firm apparently specialising in the sale of components used in comms and radar equipment.

He’s said to have submitted a purchase order to New York-based comms components manufacturer Miteq, at which time he was told that the microwave amplifier on his PO was subject to export restrictions to China.

However, Lu wet ahead and exported it anyway without a Department of Commerce license, to co-defendant Everjet Science and Technology Corporation based in the PRC.

Lu was also charged with lying to federal agents about the intended end-use of the amplifier and the recipient, ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and hand over 36 microwave amplifiers worth $US136,000, according to the FBI.

“The export of these defence articles to the People’s Republic of China or anywhere else in the world is tightly regulated for good reason,” said Clark Settles, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) San Francisco.

“One of HSI’s top enforcement priorities is preventing US military products and sensitive technology from falling into the hands of those who might seek to harm America or its interests. Requiring exporters to obtain licenses before shipping controlled technology to restricted countries is a vital precaution in ensuring our nation’s security.”

The case comes at a particularly strained time for Sino-US relations, especially after the recent House of Representative Intelligence Committee branded tech giants Huawei and ZTE a national security risk to American companies and government agencies.

The strict US export restrictions – which apply to several countries – cover any technology considered to have military uses. They have already snared ZTE, which is being investigated for exporting US-made tech to Iran.

In September, the federal trial began of a Chinese man accused of smuggling hi-tech secrets from the US to his homeland in the hope of landing a better job. Sixing Liu still awaits his verdict. ®

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