Home News Canadian police accuse Hydro-Quebec employee of spying in China

Canadian police accuse Hydro-Quebec employee of spying in China

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TORONTO — Canadian police on Monday charged a Hydro-Quebec employee with espionage for allegedly sending trade secrets to China.

Yuesheng Wang, 35, will appear in court in Longueuil, Que., on Tuesday to face charges of obtaining trade secrets, using a computer without authorization, fraud and breach of trust by an agent audience.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said its national security enforcement team opened an investigation in August after receiving a complaint from Hydro-Quebec’s corporate security executive.

RCMP Inspector David Beaudoin said it is alleged that while employed by Hydro-Quebec, Wang used his position to conduct research for a Chinese university and other Chinese research centers. Beaudoin indicated that he would have published scientific articles and filed patents by “associating this foreign player rather than with Hydro Quebec”.

“He obtained this information for the benefit of the People’s Republic of China at the expense of Canada’s economic interests,” Beaudoin said.

Beaudoin said he used the information without the knowledge or prior approval of his employer. The alleged crimes took place between February 2018 and October 2022.

Wang, a resident of Candiac, Que., south of Montreal, allegedly had access to the relevant information as part of his job at the provincial utility, police said.

In a statement, Hydro-Quebec said Wang was a researcher who worked on battery materials with the Center of Excellence in Transportation Electrification and Energy Storage, known as CETEES. The utility said its security team launched its own investigation before promptly reporting to authorities.

“Our detection and response mechanisms enabled our investigators to bring this matter to the attention of the RCMP, with whom we have been working closely ever since,” said Dominic Roy, senior director responsible for corporate security.

“No organization is immune to a situation like this, which is why we must always remain vigilant and transparent, and we must not tolerate violations of the Company’s Code of Ethics.”

The former employee did not have access to information related to Hydro-Quebec’s “main mission” and his access was revoked when suspicions arose, the company added. He said the center where he worked develops technologies for electric vehicles and energy storage systems.

Hydro-Québec is the Quebec utility that manages the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity in the Canadian province, as well as the export of electricity to parts of the northeastern United States.

The RCMP said foreign interference has become a priority for law enforcement, adding that it is working with at-risk sectors to improve Canada’s response and resilience.

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