On Thursday, officials from the FBI's counterintelligence division and the national counterintelligence and security center will brief reporters at FBI Headquarters on the extent of the problem.
They'll also release a slick training video produced by the FBI called "The Company Man," designed to show how Chinese espionage can operate.
In the short film, hired actors depict a fictionalized version of the real life events in the 2012 surveillance video involving the cloak-and-dagger efforts to obtain glass insulation secrets.
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In the real-life surveillance video, Ji Li Huang, CEO of Ningbo Oriental Crafts Ltd, and his employee Xiao Guang Qi can be seen talking with a Pittsburgh Corning employee they believe has agreed to turn over documents in exchange for cash. In reality, the FBI says, the employee was working with federal law enforcement on the sting.
The FBI says Huang had been relentlessly attempting to get access to the American company's processes for a long time before the hotel room bust. According to the FBI, Huang first pitched a joint venture with the American firm, and then requested a tour of the company's factory. Three days after being denied that tour, the FBI says, Huang flew to the plant and took pictures of machinery on site. When employees there turned him away, he showed up again later, each time saying he was lost.
Later, Huang hired a headhunter agency and placed classified print ads in nearby newspapers designed to attract the attention of key talent from the American firm.
Alarmed, the FBI says, the U.S. company approached the FBI, and designated an employee who would respond to Huang's overtures. That led to a series of events that led to the meeting in the hotel room. The documents that Huang attempted to buy, though, were fake: bogus documents designed to appear real by the FBI.
A federal court ruled that the intended loss to the American company was $7 million, based on the effort required to develop the product.
The FBI says Huang and Qi are back in China, and not able to return to the United States. Huang served 18 months in a California prison, the bureau says, and given a $250,000 fine before being deported. Qi, the junior employee, was fined $20,000 and left the United States.
Lawyers for Huang and Qi declined to comment Wednesday. A spokeswoman for Pittsburgh Corning did not immediately respond to a request for comment.