New research shows significant racial disparities against

New York, September 21, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – People with Asian or Chinese names are punished twice as severely as defendants with more Western names under the Economic Espionage Act (EEA), and 1 American in 3 Asian people accused of espionage may have been falsely accused. In addition, the prison sentence for Chinese and Asian defendants is double that of Western defendants and the Department of Justice (DOJ) is much more likely to publicize the alleged “espionage” by people with Asian names. as alleged “espionage” by people with Western names.

These are just a few of the conclusions drawn from a new detailed study “Racial Disparities in Economic Espionage Law Prosecutions: A Window on the New Red Fear. “

The study, co-led by the Committee of 100 and Andrew Chongseh Kim, attorney at Greenberg Traurig, LLP and visiting scholar at South Texas College of Law, analyzed court records for all cases indicted under the 1996 EEA to 2020: 276 individual defendants charged in 190 cases, as coded in the federal PACER system (public access to electronic court records). The study provides empirical evidence that individuals, especially those with Chinese or Asian names, are disproportionately and negatively affected under the EEA.

“We must recognize the racial stereotypes that Chinese and Asian American communities have had to contend with for over two centuries, starting with the 19th century ‘yellow peril’ to the ‘perpetual alien’ stereotype that still exists today,” he said. said Zheng Yu Huang, Chairman of the Committee of 100. “This research is essential to understanding the racial discrimination and implicit prejudices that are the byproducts of a rush to ensure national security, which makes America less attractive to immigrants of all origins. America is a place of law and justice, where our diversity is our strength.

“We have spent thousands of hours analyzing documents filed by federal courts and press releases from the Department of Justice. Unfortunately, the data shows that Asian Americans and other people of Asian descent are treated differently by our justice system, ”said Andrew Chongseh Kim. “People of Asian descent are more likely to be accused of espionage, although they are less likely to be actually convicted of such charges. Perhaps more troubling, the DOJ is much more likely to publish allegations of espionage when they involve people with Asian names. These results suggest that Asian American citizens are becoming collateral damage in our efforts to protect the American economy.

Highlights from the white paper and research include:

The percentage of Chinese and Asian defendants charged has skyrocketed in the past decade
Prior to 2009, two-thirds of defendants charged under the EEA were people with Western names, while 16% were people with Chinese names. However, since 2009, the majority of those charged with EEA offenses are people of Chinese descent.

National espionage cases are almost as numerous as international cases
Although the reporting focuses on espionage for China, 42% of defendants charged under the EEA were suspected of stealing trade secrets for the benefit of a US company or individual. 46% alleged theft to benefit China, while the remaining 12% alleged theft to benefit other countries, including Australia and Russia.

Lawsuits against college and university professors are not common
Although much has been written accusing professors and university staff of being agents of economic espionage, the actual charges against these defendants rarely include charges of espionage. Only 3% of the alleged thefts of alleged trade secrets under the EEA took place in research institutes. These new findings raise concerns that the DOJ is looking for spies in the places where they are least likely to find them.

One in three Asian Americans accused of espionage have been falsely accused
This study found that 27% of Asian American citizens charged under the EEA had not been convicted of any crime. Another 6% of Asian Americans have only been convicted of process-related offenses such as making false statements. In total, 1 in 3 Asian Americans accused of espionage may have been falsely accused.

People from Chinese and Asian origins are punished twice as severely
Half of defendants with Western names (49%) convicted under the EEA were sentenced only to probation, without incarceration. On the other hand, the vast majority of defendants of Asian origin (75%) were sent to prison, in particular those of Chinese origin (80%). Additionally, Chinese and Asian defendants convicted of economic espionage received average sentences of 27 and 23 months respectively, about twice the average 12-month sentence for defendants with Western names.

Surprise arrests higher for people of Chinese and Asian descent
Although movies and TV series inevitably highlight the ‘Criminals March’, only 38% of EEA defendants with Western names have been arrested and handcuffed. Instead, most of the defendants with Western names received an official letter summoning them to court to face the charges against them. In contrast, the first time 69% of Asian defendants and 78% of Chinese EEA defendants learned that they had been charged was during their arrest, usually in handcuffs.

The GM advertisees The EEA accuses people with Asian names more than the EEA against people with Western names
The DOJ issues a press release announcing EEA charges in more than 80% of cases involving defendants with Asian names. In contrast, the DOJ issues press releases in only half (51%) of EEA cases involving defendants with Western names.

To download the entire white paper, go to

You can also download and read independent comments on the article from (in alphabetical order):

  • Ashley Gorski (Senior Staff Counsel, United States Civil Liberties Union)
  • Dr Randy Katz (United Microelectronics Corporation Emeritus Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Vice Chancellor for Research, UC Berkeley)
  • Carol Lam (Former United States Attorney for the Southern District of California)
  • Margaret K. Lewis (Professor of Law at Seton Hall University)
  • Patrick Toomey (Senior Counsel, American Civil Liberties Union)
  • Dr Jeremy Wu (Co-organizer of APA Justice and the Committee of 100 members)

About the Committee of 100
Committee of 100 is a non-profit American leadership organization of prominent Chinese Americans in business, government, academia, healthcare, and the arts with a focus on public policy engagement, civic engagement and philanthropy. For more than 30 years, the Committee of 100 has been the premier organization committed to the dual mission of promoting the full participation of Chinese Americans in all aspects of American life and constructive relations between the United States and Great China. Visit or follow the Committee of 100 on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook for more information.

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About Geraldine Higgins

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