Corporate espionage at the british technology titan Dyson ?

An unproven Chinese spy in the middle of an industrial espionage scandal has been named as Dyson, the vacuum cleaner constructor, seeks the return of its top secret technology. Dyson claims Yong Pang, an engineer focusing on electric motors, was paid more than 13,000 EUR by a German competitor to pass on the technology, which is at the core of future product development.

They say that Bosch, which employs 70 times the number of staff across the world, then shared what it learned with their Chinese manufacturer. Pang was working as a senior motor-drive engineer at Dyson’s headquarters in Malmesbury, Wiltshire, from June 2010 until he was dismissed for gross misconduct in June last year, according to papers lodged with the High Court.

He had worked at Bosch from April 2006 to December 2008 and then went on to work for the international engine manufacturer Ricardo. An internet entry says he worked as an electric machine design engineer for Ricardo and lived in Ipswich, Suffolk.

According to Dyson, Pang entered into a written consultancy contract with Bosch, dated September 28, 2009, nine months before he started work for them. The agreement was apparently between Bosch Lawn and Garden Limited and ACE Electric Machine Design, which listed Pang’s wife as director. Bosch allegedly paid Pang at least 13,000 EUR over a 16-month period while he was working for Dyson, without their knowledge. It is said the deal was “a stratagem intended to distance Yong Pang from Bosch and to conceal Yong Pang’s work from his primary employer, who at that time was Ricardo, but from 28 June 2010 was Dyson”.

Dyson claims Wolfgang Hirschburger, vice-president of engineering for Bosch Power Tools, was the man who handled the contract. The stolen technology is said to relate to high-speed brushless motors, which power Dyson’s vacuum cleaners and hand dryers. Dyson has spent 15 years and 100, 000 000 EUR developing the small digital motors which spin at 104,000rpm, five times faster than an F1 racing car.

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