By: Danielle Hatch
Tao Li, a Chinese national has been sentenced to 40 months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiring to export military and space grade technology to the People’s Republic of. Li resided in China and worked with others to try and purchase radiation-hardened power amplifiers and supervisory circuits and export them from the US to China. Since these items are primarily used in space and military applications an export license is required from the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS)…currently BIS has a policy of denial for licenses for these types of components to go to China.
Between 2016 and 2018, Li contacted several individuals in the US using aliases to try and purchase the components. Li eventually paid a “risk fee” to illegally export the electronic components to China, and wired money from an account in China to the US. He was arrested in September 2018 at the Los Angeles International Airport as he attempted to make a trip to the US to see the components (he was actually meeting undercover agents).