Chinese Nationals Arrested for Conspiring to Export Semiconductor Technology

by Carolyn Mathas

Lin Chen, 44, and Han Li, aka Li Han Anson, 64, both nationals of the People’s Republic of China, were charged with illegally conspiring to export advanced semiconductor technology to a manufacturer in China

based on a December 2020 indictment. Chen was arrested in Chicago on Wednesday and is in custody. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Li may be in China.

From 2015 through 2018, Chen and Li allegedly tried to purchase equipment subject to export licensing controls. They planned to ship the equipment to Chengdu GaStone Technology Company in China. GaStone has been named to a U.S. Department of Commerce list of restricted entities for the past decade and sales to companies on the list are subject to strict licensing, disclosure, and export controls.

The indictments contain four counts, two of which carry a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment; the other two, five and 10 years, respectively. The counts also carry the possibility of fines up to $1 million.

The equipment that Chen and Li wanted to export was a “DTX-150 Automatic Diamond Scriber Breaker” sold by Dynatex International of Santa Rosa. The machine is used to cut silicon wafers. The indictments are part of a U.S. effort to prevent China from obtaining technology that can be used in the development of cutting-edge semiconductors.

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