Last week Renault suspended 3 executives implicated in a scheme to steal industrial secrets from the French automaker. The 3 employees all worked on Renault's electric vehicle technology. The suspended executives all deny they have done anything wrong.
Now, French prosecutors in Paris are looking into the case and the investigation may also involve France's intelligence agency - the DCRI - according to a Reuters source.
Chief Operating Officer Patrick Pelata said that Renault was the victim of an "organized international network". Pelata added that Renault's electric vehicle technology secrets were still safe. Sources say that French intelligence services were looking into the possibility of a Chinese link in the spy network.
But in an official complaint filing on Thursday, Renault cited a private foreign company as the source of the spying. And the Paris prosecutor looking into the matter, Jean-Claude Marin, said, "They [Renault] don't cite a foreign power, they only cite private persons."
The French government has tried to downplay the speculation that China is behind the spy ring while the Chinese government has denied any role in the matter.
Of course, it could just be that one or another Chinese automaker themselves are doing a little freelance espionage on their own. Although, there is no evidence of that yet.