Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FASHION

The Quest for an Exceptional Object

Read more

FOCUS

Ukraine's 'volunteer' battalions: Under Kiev's control?

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

US strategy to combat the Islamic State group

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Nigeria attack: Bomb blast in college in Kano

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'It's No Go' as Scotland rejects independence

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Scotland's relationship status: 'It's complicated'

Read more

DEBATE

Scotland Referendum: Will They Stay or Will They Go?

Read more

DEBATE

Hollande Press Conference: French President Tackles Record Unpopularity

Read more

FOCUS

Cleaning up Thailand's shady surrogacy industry

Read more

France

China says Renault spy scandal accusations are 'groundless'

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-01-11

China has denied any connection to the industrial espionage scandal at French carmaker Renault, a foreign ministry spokesman said on Tuesday. French intelligence services are reportedly investigating the issue.

AFP - China on Tuesday denied any involvement in an industrial espionage scandal that has erupted at French car maker Renault, calling such claims "groundless, irresponsible and unacceptable".
              
French newspaper Le Figaro reported that a Chinese firm had paid undisclosed sums into Swiss and Liechtenstein bank accounts opened by two Renault executives implicated in the inquiry, which centres on electric car technology.
              
"As for this so-called story that China is involved, we believe this is totally groundless, irresponsible and unacceptable," foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters.
              
Renault said it had suspended three top managers last week over suspicions they had leaked strategic information. Reports said the secrets concerned details of the electric cars on which Renault has staked its future.
              
Le Figaro, which did not identify its sources, reported on its website late Monday that the payments were discovered by private investigators hired by Renault.
              
The investigators uncovered a Swiss account containing 500,000 euros ($646,000) and another in Liechtenstein with 130,000 euros.
              
It said the money had been paid in by a Chinese power company.
              
In what appeared to be a bid to hide the payments, the cash was moved via a series of intermediary transfers via Shanghai and Malta.
              
Renault made no comment to Le Figaro on its story, but in comments to Le Monde newspaper at the weekend, the company's number two, chief operating officer Patrick Pelata, spoke in terms of an "organised international network".
              
Various media reports and analysts said spies were after information on the high-stakes electric car programme, and that Chinese firms stood to benefit.

 

Date created : 2011-01-11

  • AUTO INDUSTRY

    France to probe 'Chinese link' in Renault spy case

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Renault's electric car details leaked to China, media reports say

    Read more

COMMENT(S)