SolarWorld wants cyber-spying action

SolarWorld is pressuring US authorities to investigate the “trade implications” of the recent indictment of five hackers working for the Chinese military, alleged to have stolen trade secrets from SolarWorld USA and other companies.

In papers filed on Tuesday with the US Department of Commerce, SolarWorld demands the government “further investigate the effects of the espionage … and determine the extent of harm to SolarWorld’s competitive position”.

If justified, SolarWorld has asked the government to “contemplate sanctions against the Chinese government”.

In May, a grand jury in the US indicted five Chinese military hackers, representing the first time the US publicly accused representatives of a foreign government of cybercrime.

The hacking of SolarWorld is alleged to have happened during May-September 2012, during the height of the trade case spearheaded by SolarWorld, which in December 2012 saw anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties slapped on Chinese PV cells.

SolarWorld operates the largest PV cell and module factory in North America, in Oregon.

SolarWorld has led a second of trade cases in the US, which resulted in a preliminary ruling last month which, if finalised, would take action to close the “Taiwan loophole”.