6 Jul 2010

Prison sentence for sale of information

7:28 pm on 6 July 2010

A court in Beijing has sentenced a Chinese-born American geologist to eight years in prison for stealing state secrets.

Xue Feng, 44, was detained in 2007 after negotiating the sale of an oil industry database to his employers, an American consultancy company, IHS Energy, now known as IHS Inc.

Mr Xue said the information he had acquired about China's oil industry was publicly available. He claimed he had been tortured while in detention.

Mr Xue was also fined 200,000 yuan ($US30,000).

The BBC reports that foreign businesses in China are now likely to tread even more warily when dealing with information about state companies.