Paris: French police have arrested a 22-year-old Chinese student for alleged industrial espionage while working at Valeo, the car parts manufacturer, casting a shadow over this week’s visit to Paris by China’s trade minister.

Li Li is being held in custody after police raided her house on Friday and found three computers and two hard drives containing data on Valeo’s products. Prosecutors said the data included «confidential» car designs not yet brought to market.

Her arrest is an embarrassing blow to China’s hopes of strengthening ties with France amid political concern about the impact of a sharp rise in imports of Chinese clothing on the French textiles industry.(FT)