Hytera, Chinese telecom firm, indicted in theft of Motorola radio secrets

A federal grand jury in Chicago has indicted the Chinese telecommunications firm Hytera Communications Co. Ltd. for conspiracy in a scheme to steal Motorola walkie-talkie secrets, the Justice Department announced Monday.

Hytera has been linked by U.S. intelligence to Chinese police and intelligence services and is accused of the trade secrets theft of Motorola’s proprietary digital mobile radio technology.      

Spokesmen for Hytera did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the filing, which comes as the FBI says it is investigating a raft of cases involving Chinese theft of U.S. corporate intellectual property.

In addition to Hytera, several former Motorola employees that were hired by Hytera were indicted. However, the names of the former employees were redacted in the indictment unsealed in U.S. District Court in Chicago.

According to court documents, Hytera has been under investigation since 2019 and hired former Motorola employees as part of a  plan to obtain the digital radio secrets.

Police and emergency services were required to shift from analog radios to digital in 2004 by the Federal Communications Commission, prompting both Motorola and Hytera to develop digital radios.

“At Hytera’s direction and for the benefit of Hytera and others, the individual defendants took proprietary and trade secret information from Motorola without authorization,” the indictment states.

Motorola‘s proprietary and trade secret information was used by Hytera and the individual defendants to accelerate the development of Hytera’s [digital mobile radio] products. As a result, Hytera’s  [digital mobile radio] products relied on and contained Motorola‘s proprietary and trade secret information.”

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