Xue Feng was born in China but trained at the University of Chicago according to media reports. He was detained in 2007 after he arranged the sale of a database of China’s largely state owned oil industry to his employers, a US Energy consulting firm, IHS Energy, now known as IHS Inc. based in Colorado, reports the Telegraph.
Xue says the database was openly available at the time he arranged the sale. Draft regulations released by China’s government earlier this year defined business information held by state firms as state secretes, says BBC News.
The US embassy in China has been working behind the scenes for the past three years to try and secure his release. In a statement after Xue’s sentencing, the embassy says it is “dismayed” and asked China to grant Xue “humanitarian release and immediately deport him.” (BBC News, the Telegraph)