Chinese companies indicted for stealing Micron trade secrets

Chinese company charged with stealing trade secrets from US chipmaker

Chinese company charged with stealing trade secrets from US chipmaker

"As this and other recent cases have shown, Chinese economic espionage against the United States has been increasing-and it has been increasing rapidly", Sessions said. A Justice Department spokesman said the defendants were served summonses in Taiwan and that none is in USA custody. In addition to its intent to force China's hand in reducing import duties that it imposes on American goods and open the Chinese market to more USA companies, Trump, his trade representative, and others say they are pushing for a change in Chinese policy which effectively requires foreign companies to turn over trade secrets in forced partnerships with domestic firms.

The Taiwanese company partnered with the Chinese company Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co. and shared technology, according to the Justice Department.

Three Taiwanese nationals also were indicted: Chen Zhengkun, He Jianting, and Wang Yungming.

The trade secrets at stake are valued at up to US$8.75 billion, according to the indictment.

"We appreciate the U.S. Department of Justice's decision to prosecute the criminal theft of our intellectual property", said Joel Poppen, Micron's senior vice president for legal affairs, in a statement.

The indictment sates Wang downloaded over 900 Micron confidential and proprietary files before he left MMT and stored them on USB external hard drives or in personal cloud storage in order to access them while working for UMC. "Micron has invested billions of dollars over decades to develop its intellectual property".

Chen was originally a top executive at Micron's Taiwan operation.

Accusations that China unfairly acquires technology are at the heart of escalating U.S. In July, a Chinese court banned Micron chip sales in the country, but the American company said that moratorium affected just 1 percent of its annual revenue.

The Department of Commerce took similar actions on Monday when the agency restricted exports to Fujian Jinhua, calling the company a national security risk.

China and the United States are locked in an escalating trade conflict. Wang's acts were most bold, as he allegedly misappropriated 900 Micron files and stole F32nm DRAM trade secrets from United States servers and stored it on his Google Drive account. Beijing has spent heavily to build up Jinhua and other chipmakers as part of efforts to transform China into a global leader in robotics, artificial intelligence and other technology industries.

In addition, the Justice Department announced an initiative to target Chinese economic espionage by identifying priority cases and ensuring there are enough resources available. The US has taken an increasingly tough and confrontational stance toward what it characterizes as China's "predatory" economic policies.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to reporters at a news conference at the State Department in Washington on October 23.

Tensions over trade in particular have exacerbated relations between the two world powers.

The Trump administration has slapped $250 billion in tariffs on Chinese products.

"The Chinese government's complicity in intellectual property theft hurts American manufacturers, workers, and consumers, and undermines the ability of USA businesses to operate in China", Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, the vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said in an emailed statement.

The tensions have extended into security issues. Trump has opened up a new line of criticism in recent weeks, accusing China of meddling in U.S. elections but without presenting substantive evidence of interference.

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