An ex-General Motors (GM.NYSE) engineer and her husband face allegations of stealing the auto maker’s technology to aid Chinese car manufacturers, Bloomberg reported. Shanshan Du, the former employee, stole confidential information on hybrid cars, a US prosecutor said at the start of the trial. The documents were passed to her husband, Yu Qin, who used the data to seek partnerships or employment with other automakers, including the Chinese car manufacturer Chery Automobile, prosecutors said. GM considers the value of the secrets to be worth more than US$40 million. The couple’s lawyer Frank Eaman said that the case reflects US xenophobia. The 18 items at issue can not be categorized as trade secrets and were “completely useless” for the companies the couple approached, Eamon said. The case adds to a growing list of similar allegations in which people of Chinese descent have been accused of stealing trade secrets from US companies with the intention to sell to Chinese buyers.