Former Samsung exec accused of stealing information to construct copycat chip plant in China

A former government of Samsung Electronics allegedly stole the reminiscence chip juggernaut’s confidential semiconductor information to construct a copycat chip facility in China, South Korean prosecutors mentioned on Monday.

The 65-year-old defendant, who additionally beforehand labored for Korean chipmaker SK Hynix, has been arrested and accused of violating industrial know-how safety legal guidelines and stealing commerce secrets and techniques from 2018 to 2019 to ascertain a duplicate of Samsung’s semiconductor plant, simply 1.5 kilometers away from Samsung chip manufacturing unit in Xi’an, China.

Nevertheless, the ex-Samsung exec’s try to construct the copycat chip plant allegedly fell by after his backer, purportedly an undisclosed Taiwanese firm, canceled greater than a $6 billion (roughly 8 trillion gained) funding within the challenge, prosecutors mentioned. As an alternative, he obtained capital from traders in China and Taiwan to provide trial chip merchandise based mostly on Samsung’s know-how.

The indictment comes as stress between the U.S. and China rises over semiconductors.

The suspect, who has been working within the semiconductor trade for greater than 25 years, based two chip services in China and Singapore and employed over 200 semiconductor professionals from Samsung and SK Hynix in South Korea. Prosecutors mentioned the stolen information from Samsung might take its toll of at the least $233 million (300 billion gained) on Samsung.

This isn’t only a leak of semiconductor know-how, as the corporate tried to duplicate an entire semiconductor manufacturing unit, in accordance with prosecutors. “It’s a critical crime that would deal a heavy blow to the inspiration of the home semiconductor trade at a time of cut-throat competitors for chip manufacturing,” the prosecutor’s workplace mentioned.

Prosecutors indicted six different individuals who alleged the ex-Samsung official’s accomplices.

Samsung didn’t instantly reply to a TechCrunch request for remark.