Chinese Dude Pleads Guilty to Pirating £60 Million Worth of Military Software

By Jamie Condliffe on at

Yesterday a Chinese businessman pleaded guilty to selling pirated software—used by defense, space technology and engineering businesses—worth a retail value of over £60 million.

A plethora of sophisticated software was stolen from an estimated 200 American manufacturers and sold onto 325 black market buyers in 61 countries between 2008 and 2011, according to Reuters. Software made by the likes of Microsoft, Oracle, Rockwell Automation, Agilent Technologies and Siemens was sold on for between £14 and £800. Some of the software, however, officially retailed for more than £600,000 apiece.

According to Reuters the businessman, Xiang Li, of Chengdu, China, trolled black market internet forums to find the software, then advertised it on his website. US agents spent 18 months working undercover in order to finally catch Li, eventually buying software worth £100,000 off him for just a couple of thousand dollars. He was finally lured to the US territory of Saipan from China, under the premise of discussing a dodgy joint business venture. Whoops. [Reuters]

Image via Shutterstock/John David Bigi III