China’s State Council Legislative Affairs Office released on 15 May a draft of the Protection of State Secrets Law Implementing Regulations, which was open for public comment until 15 June. The draft regulations provide guidance for the implementation of the Protection of State Secrets Law (State Secrets Law), which superceded an earlier 1988 law and came into force on 1 October 2010.
Just before the recent changes to China’s State Secrets Law in 2010, there were two prominent cases with state secrets implications involving foreigners of Chinese origin working for foreign companies who were arrested, tried secretly and given long jail terms and fines.
- US geologist Xue Feng was arrested in 2007 and in July 2010 sentenced to eight more years in jail and fined RMB200,000 (US$31,700) for negotiating the sale of a PRC industry database to his US employer, IHS Energy. The National State Secrets Bureau did eventually declare this information protected, but not until several years after he had acquired it, and seven weeks after he had been arrested and jailed.
- Stern Hu, an Australian employee of British-Australian mining company Rio Tinto, was arrested in 2009, initially for stealing state secrets, and in March 2010 sentenced to 10 years in jail and fined RMB500,000 for accepting bribes and stealing trade secrets on iron ore bid prices, negotiation information and output production plans.
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Business Law Digest is compiled with the assistance of Baker & McKenzie. Readers should not act on this information without seeking professional legal advice. You can contact Baker & McKenzie by e-mail at: Zhang Danian (Shanghai) email@example.com