Xiamen University


Xiamen University (XMU) is designated medium risk for its alleged involvement in trade secrets theft.

XMU is one of China’s leading universities, but it does not appear to engage in high levels of defence research.http://archive.fo/xuDjS However, in 2018 it came under a joint supevision agreement between the Ministry of Education, the Fujian Provincial Government and defence industry agency SASTIND that indicates XMU will expand its involvement in defence research. The arrangement is designed to ‘upgrade the university’s ability to innovate defence science and technology and actively integrate itself with the development of military-civil fusion.’http://archive.fo/9B8os

In 2017, XMU allegedly conspired with Huawei to steal trade secrets from CNEX Labs Inc., an American semiconductor startup. CNEX claims that Huawei and XMU engaged in a multiyear conspiracy to steal the company’s solid-state drive computer storage technology.https://www.wsj.com/articles/huawei-executive-is-accused-of-involvement-in-trade-secrets-theft-u-s-startup-said-in-court-filings-11558550468

The university appears to be involved in the development of military-use heavy-duty coatings. In 2017, XMU, Fujian Normal University, Fujian Liheng Paint Co. Ltd. (福建立恒涂料有限公司) and People’s Liberation Army Unit 63983 jointly established the Haixi Liheng New Materials Research Institute (海西立恒新材料研究院).http://archive.fo/Irpae ; http://archive.fo/v3WPx Fujian Liheng Paint specialises in heavy-duty coatings for warships and holds confidential-level security credentials, allowing it to participate in classified defence projects.http://archive.fo/BNpCq

Economic espionage and misconduct

In 2019, US semiconductor startup CNEX Labs Inc. alleged that Huawei Technologies Co. and XMU conspired to steal its trade secrets. CNEX, which is suing Huawei, claims that a Huawei deputy chairman instructed an employee to pose as a potential customer in order to analyse CNEX’s solid-state drive storage technology. CNEX also claims that in 2017 XMU acquired its technology for a research project, but then provided Huawei with technical information about it in violation of a licensing agreement the university signed with CNEX.https://www.wsj.com/articles/huawei-executive-is-accused-of-involvement-in-trade-secrets-theft-u-s-startup-said-in-court-filings-11558550468

XMU’s involvement in the case follows a strategic cooperation agreement was signed with Huawei in April 2016. XMU and Huawei agreed to collaborate on communications and information technology research, jointly establishing the ‘Huawei Information and Internet Technology College’.http://archive.fo/PW7mi Huawei acknowledged that it signed an agreement with XMU to design chips and software for a database, but denies that the agreement relates to the CNEX case.https://www.wsj.com/articles/huawei-executive-is-accused-of-involvement-in-trade-secrets-theft-u-s-startup-said-in-court-filings-11558550468

Defence and security links

Xiamen University hosts a PLA Air Force institute.http://kj.81.cn/content/2014-02/21/content_5777083.htm

Last updated 12 November 2019. Unclear about any wording? Visit the terminology page.