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Linwei Ding (AKA Leon Ding), Economic Espionage 2022 - 2023

Updated: May 24

Linwei Ding (AKA Leon Ding),  Economic Espionage 2022 - 2023

May 21, 2022, Lin Wei Ding allegedly began stealing Google’s trade secrets that detailed the company’s work in Artificial Intelligence.  Ding conducted periodic data transfers until May 2, 2023, accumulating more than 500 files. The trade secrets represent 10 – 15 years of Google’s research efforts.

June 13, 2022, Ding received several emails from the CEO of Rongshu, an early-stage PRC based AI technology company indicating Ding had accepted the position of Chief Technology Officer for the company.

Oct. 29, 2022, Ding traveled to the PRC and stayed there until March 25, 2023 participating in investor meetings as CTO to raise capital for Rongshu.

May 30, 2023, Ding founded Shanghai Zhisuan Technology Co. He applied to a Beijing based startup accelerator and venture capital firm Miracle Plus. He traveled to Beijing in Nov 2023 and pitched his new company to Miracle Plus’s venture capital investor conference.  Ding noted to the Zhisuan Wechat investor group “we have experience with Google's ten-thousand-card computational power platform; we just need to replicate and upgrade it - and then further develop a computational power platform suited to China's national conditions.”

In early December of 2023, Ding was caught uploading additional files to a different personal Google account while in China.  A Google investigator, unaware of the other 500 files, had Ding attest in an affidavit that he had permanently deleted all copies of those files in his possession.

Google detected all Ding’s unauthorized data transfers only after he had left the company.

Status: Alleged


1.    Ding copied data from source files into the Apple Notes application on his work issued MacBook laptop.[1] He then converted the Apple Notes into PDF files and uploaded them into a Google drive account.

2.    He copied 500 files over a year thereby avoiding detection by Google.

3.    Made repeated trips to China to coordinate his business arrangements.

4.    Repeatedly lied to Google management and security officers about his actions, plans, and intentions.

5.    Ding had another Google employee use his work-issued access badge to scan into the entrance of a Google building hiding the fact he was in Beijing.

6.    Used open emails and WeChat (encrypted) for communications.

7.    Disclosed the original of the AI trade secrets to his company’s (Zhisuan) Wechat investor group and the desire to develop the platform for “China's national conditions.”

[1] Why did Google issue him a MacBook laptop?

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