A US federal court has charged six Chinese citizens with economic espionage for stealing secret information from two US companies they worked for.
Department of Justice unveiled the indictment for six individuals on Tuesday saying one of the suspects, Professor Hao Zhang (36), was arrested on Saturday in Los Angeles after arriving with a flight from China, while other suspects are believed to be living in China.
Three of the suspects worked for two companies, Avago Technologies and Skyworks Solutions, which specialise in technologies used in military systems.
Zhang and two other professors, who also worked for US companies, have allegedly stolen source codes and other proprietary information from their employers and established a microsystems company in Tianjin, China.
The indictment said the suspects planned the alleged theft in 2006 and established their own company ROFS Microsystems in 2011 after moving to China in 2009.
The US accusing Chinese individuals of economic espionage for a third in the last three years is indicating its security concerns related to China.
Last year a California businessman was convicted of stealing DuPont trade secrets for a Chinese company, and last May the US accused five Chinese military officers of hacking US companies in nuclear, metal and solar sectors.
Latest indictments came at a time of rising tension between the two countries over the South China Sea.