Hydro-Québec Employee Arrested on Charges of Spying for China Makes Court Appearance

Hydro-Québec Employee Arrested on Charges of Spying for China Makes Court Appearance
Lawyer Gary Martin speaks to reporters at a court in Longueuil, Que., on Nov. 15. Martin represents Hydro-Québec employee Yuesheng Wang, who is facing charges of allegedly sending trade secrets to China. (Tanya Du/The Epoch Times)
Andrew Chen

A Hydro-Québec employee arrested for allegedly sending trade secrets to China appeared in court in Longueuil, Que., on Nov. 15.

Yuesheng Wang, 35, made a first court appearance by videoconference after being arrested by RCMP on Nov. 14 for alleged espionage, which police said was "to the detriment of Canada's economic interests."
The resident of Candiac, Que., is facing four espionage-related charges, including obtaining trade secrets, unauthorized use of computer, fraud for obtaining trade secrets, and breach of trust by public officer, according to a release issued by police on Nov. 14.

"The charges are unprecedented," defence lawyer Gary Martin told reporters on Nov. 15. "It's the first time that we have somebody charged with those counts in Canada."

A spokesperson with the RCMP confirmed to The Epoch Times that of the four charges Wang was arrested for, the one that is unprecedented is the allegation of "Obtaining trade secrets," a provision under the Security of Information Act.

Hydro-Québec said it has worked with RCMP on the investigation of Wang's activities.

“Our detection and intervention mechanisms enabled our investigators to bring the case to the attention of the RCMP, with whom we worked closely," said Dominic Roy, senior director responsible for corporate security at Hydro-Quebec in a Nov. 14 release.

While employed by Hydro-Québec, Wong allegedly used his position to conduct research for a Chinese University and other Chinese research centres, RCMP Insp. David Beaudoin said in a press conference on Nov. 14. Wang also allegedly published scientific articles and submitted patents in association with a foreign actor rather than with Hydro-Québec.

The federal Crown objected to granting bail to Wang, fearing he is a flight risk.

The case was put off until Nov. 18, when more evidence will be disclosed and when the parties will discuss scheduling a bail hearing.

Hydro-Québec said in a statement that Wang was a researcher who worked on battery materials with the Center of Excellence in Transportation Electrification and Energy Storage. The company added that it had launched its own investigation before quickly informing authorities.

Wang worked as a researcher at Hydro-Québec since October 2016, according to his profile on ResearchGate. Before that, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Arkansas and a visiting researcher at Queen Mary University of London. He studied at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing between 2010 and 2016.

Tanya Du and Ke Yi in Montreal and The Canadian Press contributed to this report