Tennessee Scientist Is First to Go on Trial on Charges He Hid Work in China

Published in The Wall Street Journal on


Until last year at the University of Tennessee, Anming Hu studied, among other things, how to join certain metals together using materials that are more than 1,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair. He also ran a group developing similar nanoscale technologies at an institute in Beijing.

Mr. Hu’s research has a range of potential applications including fixing turbines and printing sophisticated electronic sensors. On Monday, prosecutors began presenting their case in court, alleging that Mr. Hu hid his China collaborations from the U.S. government while also receiving National Aeronautics and Space Administration grants for his work in Tennessee.

The trial in Knoxville is the first after a slew of arrests of researchers and years of rising concerns among U.S. authorities that American taxpayers are unwittingly funding Chinese scientific development and boosting China’s drive for global pre-eminence.