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Economic warfare Swiss agree to extradite Chinese researcher in US corporate espionage case 

GSK building in the United States

The case has exacerbated global fears that China is using networks of highly trained nationals abroad to gain trade secrets,


The Swiss Federal Office of Justice (FOJ)external link has approved the extradition of a Chinese researcher to the United States. Gongda Xue is charged with using trade secrets stolen from a factory of the British pharmaceutical group GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). 

The decision was taken on July 12, from which date the researcher has 30 days to appeal to the Federal Criminal Court, a spokeswoman for the FOJ told the French news agency, AFP, on Tuesday. 

Gongda Xue is the brother of Yu Xue, a Chinese-American biochemist who pleaded guilty last year at a US District Court in Pennsylvania to stealing trade secrets on GSK's work in the biopharmaceutical sector, including the treatment of cancer and other serious diseases.  

A total of five people were charged in the case, three of whom formed a company in China called Renopharma to sell the stolen trade secrets. 

Yu Xue, who worked for GSK from 2006 to 2016, had been presented by the American courts as one of the "leading protein biochemists in the world".  

The US court claims that Gongda Xue received the stolen information from his sister and performed tests at the Basel-based Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Researchexternal link before sending the results to China. 

According to a spokeswoman for the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Gongda Xue worked there "as a postdoctoral fellow from 2008 to 2014". 

The US Department of Justice last year called the case an "economic war", claiming that Renopharma, based in Nanjing, China, is "financed by the Chinese government". 

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