New Developments in the DOJ’s Inquiry into Chinese Influence at American Research Institutions

  • The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced criminal charges against two researchers from American universities as a result of their allegedly undisclosed participation in Chinese recruitment programs.
  • One of them is Professor Simon Ang, director of the University of Arkansas’s High Density Electronics Center, who was charged on May 11, 2020 with one count of wire fraud.
  • According to the DOJ, Ang failed to inform both the University of Arkansas and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of his relationship with the Chinese government and three Chinese companies.
  • As a result, Ang caused the University of Arkansas to submit materially false documentation to NASA and improperly receive approximately $512,904.56 in grant funding from NASA between June 2017 and February 2020.
  • The other is Dr. Qing Wang, former professor of molecular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine (Cleveland Clinic). He was charged on May 12, 2020 with submitting false claims and committing wire fraud.
  • The DOJ contends that Wang and his research group received approximately $3.6 million in National Institute of Health (NIH) grant funding while failing to adequately disclose his position as Dean of the College of Life Sciences and Technology at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology.
  • Wang also failed to disclose his receipt of research grants received from the National Natural Science Foundation of China to the Cleveland Clinic and NIH.