Businessmen Smuggles Military Chips to China, Gets Five Years

Los Angeles-based scientist Yi-Chi Shih, 66, has been sentenced to more than five years (63 months) in prison for transferring sensitive technology to the Chinese government. The sentence comes after Shih was convicted in 2019 of illegally obtaining  monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs) and selling them to a state-owned entity in China. Shih was also ordered to pay both $362,000 in restitution to the IRS and a $300,000 fine.

In civil applications, MMICs are used for microwave mixing, power amplification, and high-frequency switching. But militaries can use MMICs in missiles, missile guidance systems, fighter jets, electronic warfare and countermeasures as well as radar applications. These chips cannot be exported without a special license in accordance with the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and the U.S. Export Administration Regulations (EAR).