A company executive was charged in California with the illegal export to China of integrated circuits (ICs).
William Chai-Wai Tsu, 61, a resident of Beijing and naturalized US citizen, was charged Monday with illegally shipping at least 200 ICs that are considered "dual use" with potential military and civil applications, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Central District of California.
The ICs were purchased from a distributor in San Jose, whose representatives were told that the ICs were not for export, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
Under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), the U.S. government bars the export of sensitive technology and equipment to certain countries. The ICs involved in this investigation are considered a dual-use item, as they have potential military applications,
Investigators say the circuits have a variety of potential applications, including use in sophisticated communications and military radar systems.
As they are dual-use items, their export to China would require advance permission from the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
If convicted of the export violation alleged in a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, Tsu faces a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison.