Kansas Professor Convicted For Hiding Chinese Communist Party Ties
Actors perform to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China at Birds Nest on June 28, 2021 in Beijing, China.
Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

A federal jury convicted a former University of Kansas professor after he concealed his employment with a government university in China.

According to a Department of Justice press release, professor Feng Tao conducted research under contracts with the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation. However, he failed on multiple occasions to disclose that he also held a position as distinguished professor at Fuzhou University in China. Tao was convicted on three counts of wire fraud and one count of false statements.

“The Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR) required faculty to file annual reports to notify of any outside employment that did or could impact duties as a conflict of interest. Tao didn’t seek permission from KU before entering the agreement with Fuzhou University, didn’t notify KU about the employment, and lied to conceal the employment,” the Justice Department explained. “In December 2018, the defendant moved to China to work full-time at Fuzhou University, while falsely telling KU administrators that he was in Europe.”

Tao now faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 for wire fraud — as well as up to 10 years and a fine up to $250,000 on each of the program fraud counts.

The news of Tao’s conviction comes only one week after Xiaoqing Zheng — a former employee at a GE Power plant in New York state — was convicted of conspiracy to steal trade secrets on behalf of the Chinese government.

“Zheng conspired to steal trade secrets from his employer, GE, and transfer this information to his business partner in China, so they could enrich both themselves and companies receiving support from the PRC government,” Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division explained. “This is the kind of exploitation of our economy and open society that the Department will continue to counter relentlessly.”

“Today’s verdict holds Xiaoqing Zheng accountable for betraying his employer and trying to help China cheat in the global marketplace,” U.S. Attorney Carla Freedman for the Northern District of New York added. “With our law enforcement partners, we will continue to investigate and prosecute individuals who connive to steal trade secrets and valuable technology from the innovative companies doing cutting-edge work in our district.”

In 2020, Harvard University chemistry and engineering professor Charles Lieber was indicted and charged with making false statements to federal authorities about his alleged participation in the Thousand Talents program — a Chinese-run initiative that seeks to lure American scientists to advance China’s technological development. Lieber was later convicted.

The communist government also applies pressure to Chinese students’ behavior to ensure that they are not speaking negatively of their home nation’s regime. In one such incident, the family of Zhihao Kong — a student at Purdue University — was visited by government agents after Kong participated in an online rehearsal commemoration for the Tiananmen Square massacre. Purdue President Mitch Daniels later sent a letter to students, staff, and faculty explaining that administrators had learned about the incident.

Create a free account to join the conversation!

Already have an account?

Log in

Got a tip worth investigating?

Your information could be the missing piece to an important story. Submit your tip today and make a difference.

Submit Tip
Download Daily Wire Plus

Don't miss anything

Download our App

Stay up-to-date on the latest
news, podcasts, and more.

Download on the app storeGet it on Google Play
The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Kansas Professor Convicted For Hiding Chinese Communist Party Ties