Chinese National In Custody, Charged With Stealing Important Trade Secrets from Houston Oil Major

December 21, 2018


A Chinese national is under arrest on charges of stealing trade secrets from Houston-based Phillips 66.

The US Department of Justice said Friday that Hongjin Tan, 35, downloaded hundreds of files related to the manufacture of a “research and development downstream energy market product,” which he planned to use to benefit a company in China that had offered him a job.

Reuters said he has worked as a staff scientist for Phillips in Bartlesville, OK for about two-and-a-half years and was arrested Thursday in Oklahoma.

His second court appearance is set for Wednesday after he first appeared before a magistrate yesterday.

Tulsa World noted on Friday that documents recovered from Tan’s possession after he resigned from the company “would have a tremendous impact” on Phillips 66 “in terms of technological and economic loss if they were to be shared or given to a competing company,” an affidavit filed in support of Tan’s criminal charge said.