Foreign

June 16, 2023

Ex-Samsung executive indicted for stealing semiconductor production secrets for China

Ex-Samsung executive indicted for stealing semiconductor production secrets for China

A 65-year-old former Samsung Electronics executive was indicted on Monday for allegedly stealing South Korean semiconductor production secrets in order to construct a competitor facility in China, according to Asia Nikkei.

A 65-year-old former Samsung executive was charged by the Suwon District Prosecutors’ Office with transmitting corporate secrets to a foreign government, China. The claims come amid rising US-China tensions following Washington’s blockade of Beijing’s access to sophisticated chip technologies.

Prosecutors said the defendant attempted to create a semiconductor factory in Xi’an sponsored by Chengdu City and a Taiwan business in 2018 and 2019, using illegally obtained Samsung schematics, but they did not reveal his name.

According to Asia Nikkei, the accused also served as a Vice President at SK Hynix, another South Korean chipmaker.

Nikkei Asia is a pan-Asia News House, that brings news and insights on the region’s most influential companies, and comprehensive coverage of politics, economy, markets and trends from an Asian perspective.

“The blueprints are business secrets which the company [Samsung] has developed for more than 30 years through trial and error. It is worth at least 300 billion won (USD 233 million),” said the prosecutors’ office in a statement.

“If the same or similar quality of chips [with Samsung] were mass-produced in China, it might have caused unrecoverable losses to the domestic semiconductor industry,” the prosecutor’s office said, Asia Nikkei reported.

South Korean prosecutors said on Monday the defendant also hired about 200 staff from local chip producers including Samsung. The authorities indicted six more of his employees over similar allegations. 

(ANI)