China is trying to steal military space tech. The US is running stings to stop it.

Justin Rohrlich
China is trying to steal military space tech. The US is running stings to stop it.

On Aug. 21, Pengyi Li walked to his gate at Honolulu International Airport, ready to board a flight to Hong Kong. Li’s arrest was the culmination of a two-year investigation into an effort to smuggle sensitive components used in spacecraft and missiles out of the US and into China, according to a sealed criminal complaint obtained by Quartz. In 2017, Department of Homeland Security investigators offered radiation-hardened microchips and advanced aerospace sensors to an unnamed Hong Kong-based company in exchange for more than $150,000, according to the complaint.