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British firm battling to stop 'billion dollar brain' being deported to China after computer code theft

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Investment fund bosses are trying to stop the deportation of an analyst convicted of stealing millions of pounds worth of computer codes. Lawyers for Trenchant and Cobiere say Ke Xu, a Chinese national, may offer secret trading algorithms he has memorised to rival foreign firms if allowed to leave England.

 

Xu, a Cambridge University maths graduate dubbed the “billion dollar brain”, was employed at Trenchant between 2012 and 2014.

 

He undertook a “sustained and extensive attack” on the fund’s computer systems and reverse-engineered code for 55 investment strategies worth 31 million pounds ($41 million), lawyers said. He was given a four-year prison term by a judge at Southwark Crown Court in July 2015.

 

A High Court judge is analysing argument from lawyers representing the two companies plus Home Secretary Amber Rudd and Xu at a trial in London. Mr Justice Supperstone said Ms Rudd decided to deport Xu but investment fund bosses said there should be no deportation until August 2018 at the earliest.

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