An employee at Canada’s largest electric utility has been charged with spying for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
According to a government statement, Canada on November 14 arrested 35-year-old Yuesheng Wang, who works at Hydro-Québec as a researcher in its electric vehicle battery unit. The research team is collaborating with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory.
Wang is accused of clandestinely working for China between February 2018 and October 2022. He was terminated this November after six years of employment.
Reuters reports a spokesperson for the Canadian authorities said Wang allegedly abused his position to conduct research for a Chinese University and other Chinese research centers.
He reportedly released scholarly articles and applied for patents in conjunction with the foreign entity instead of Hydro-Quebec.
Hydro-Quebec spokeswoman Caroline Des Rosiers said Wang’s effort caused minor damage. She declined to go further on what information the researcher had attempted to steal.
Canada’s news agency CBC reports that officials began investigating Wang this August after the security division of Hydro-Québec filed a complaint against him.
Wang has been charged with four counts. As CBC details, they are fraud, for obtaining trade secrets, unauthorized computer use, breach of trust by a public officer, and obtaining trade secrets. He is now at risk of up to 10 years behind bars if found guilty.
Inspector David Beaudoin states, “We do believe the investigation shows that the actions undertaken by Mr. Wang are criminal in nature.”
Hydro-Québec is a provincially owned energy company that supplies power to Quebec and Ontario while exporting electricity to the northeastern U.S. It is considered the fourth-largest hydropower generator in the world and the largest in its homeland.