Chinese military company covertly tried to acquire technology being developed in Lithuania*
After posting information on social media about the new image recognition software, the Lithuanian start-up H-M visionary received an offer from a company called Unolexar. In an e-mail addressed to H-M Visionary’s CEO, this company introduced itself as a Japanese technology start-up and expressed its interest in developing software. The Japanese start-up also offered to invest in the company’s further development to adjust technological solutions to the investor’s needs.
Unolexar noted that the Lithuanian technology would be used to develop solutions for autonomous vehicles. H-M Visionary found the offer extremely attractive because the start-up had been in operation for only a year and was actively looking for new investments.
H-M visionary’s CEO decided to search for information online about Unolexar, but everything he managed to find was that the company had been founded a month ago and had only one registered employee. Driven by suspicion, the CEO consulted his partners in the Netherlands, who claimed that Unolexar had also approached them with an offer to invest in artificial intelligence solutions for business management systems that the Dutch start-up had been developing. They intended to enter such collaboration but then found out that Unolexar was in fact a Chinese military company engaged in supplying Western technologies to China and its introduction as a Japanese technology start-up acted as a cover.
Based on his partner’s experience and seeking to preserve the reputation of his own start-up, H-M Visionary’s CEO refused what had initially appeared an attractive offer.
*Company names and other details appearing in this story are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, companies, or other entities is coincidental.