NEW YORK - The US government is charging a Chinese professor for attempting to steal a printed circuit board on behalf of Huawei.

The professor, Bo Mao, has pleaded not guilty and is free on a $100,000 bond. He is charged with conspiring to commit wire fraud.

According to the government, Mao signed an agreement with an undisclosed California company to obtain its circuit board. Mao allegedly said he planned to perform academic research, but complaint says his actions were on behalf on an undisclosed Chinese telecommunications conglomerate, reportedly Huawei.

Mao is an associate professor at Xiamen (China) University and a visiting professor at a university in Texas.

He was tied to a separate suit from 2017 in which Huawei sued a former employee and his new firm, CNEX Labs, for stealing trade secrets.

According to Reuters, CNEX responded by claiming said Mao had requested one of its PCBs for a research project, but instead used it for a study tied to Huawei.

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