According to South Korean authorities, a former executive of Samsung Electronics reportedly stole sensitive semiconductor secrets to create a replica chip factory in China. The 65-year-old defendant, who has previously worked for the Korean semiconductor manufacturer SK Hynix, has been detained and accused of breaking trade secret theft laws from 2018 to 2019 in order to set up a replica of Samsung’s semiconductor plant just 1.5 kilometres from Samsung’s chip factory in Xian, China.
It is said that the data that has been stolen have approximately brought about 233 million dollars of loss to the Samsung Electronics Company. This problem has now become a rivalry and competition between the chip-making industries. Prosecutors claim that the ex-Samsung executive’s plan to construct a counterfeit chip facility failed after this sponsor, reportedly an unnamed Taiwanese corporation, cancelled more than 6 billion dollars investment in the venture.
Instead, he got funding from Chinese and Taiwanese investors so that he could create test chip devices using Samsung’s technology. The charge comes as tension over semiconductors between the United States and China is increasing. The suspect, who has more than 25 years of experience in the semiconductor sector, established two chip manufacturing facilities in China and Singapore and employed more than 200 semiconductor experts from South Korean companies Samsung and SK Hynix.
Prosecutors claim that there was an attempt by the corporation to duplicate an entire semiconductor plant, not merely a leak of a semiconductor plant, not merely a leak of semiconductor technology. Further, the prosecutor stated that crimes like these could bring about a heavy blow to the foundation of the domestic semiconductor industry. Six additional persons were charged by the prosecution as the ex-Samsung officials’ accomplices.
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Thanks to “Reuters“