Tuesday, 22 October, 2019

Chinese firm charged with economic espionage

Chinese company charged with stealing trade secrets from US chipmaker Trump administration charges Chinese companies with spying on U.S.
Patty Aguilar | 03 November, 2018, 23:45

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions told a news conference that Chinese espionage has been "increasing rapidly", and the government is launching a new initiative to crack down on Chinese espionage trade cases. We're not going to take it anymore.

"This will help us meet the new and evolving threats to our economy", he said. "The Administration has powerful, targeted tools at its disposal to hold bad actors accountable for theft of US companies' IP and trade secrets, even when the theft takes place overseas".

"Micron is worth an estimated $100 billion and has a 20 to 25 percent share of the dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) industry-a technology not possessed by the Chinese until very recently", Sessions said in a statement.

Last week, the Commerce Department imposed sanctions on Fujian Jinhua.

National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow on the state of Trump administration trade talks with China. China has retaliated with tariff increases on $110 billion of American products.

Trump said on Twitter Thursday that he spoke by phone with Chinese President Xi Jinping and discussed many topics "with a heavy emphasis on trade". He and Wang both stole several Micron trade secrets related to the design and manufacture of DRAM, the US said.

The attorney general described it as a "brazen scheme" to steal and clone technology in order to compete with the US.

Alex Tse, the USA attorney in San Francisco, said China hasn't yet begun making products using the stolen technology NBC News reported.

A state-owned Chinese organization was charged by the Justice Department on Thursday for taking trade secrets from an American chip producer. "This Department of Justice-and the Trump administration-have already made our decision: we will not allow our sovereignty to be disrespected, our intellectual property to be stolen, or our people to be robbed of their hard-earned prosperity". It is a threat to our national security. "And it is unlawful". While the focus has been on hackers from Russian Federation and Iran, the United States also views China as a major cybersecurity threat.

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He noted that from 2013 to 2016 the Justice Department did not charge a single person with spying for China. After leaving Micron all three individuals entered employment with UMC where the confidential trade secrets were transferred to China, according to the DOJ indictment. Other cases have involved stolen wind turbine technology and software source code.

Late in 2017, Micron took legal action in a US court against UMC charging that the Taiwanese company had stolen and copied its design and manufacturing technologies.

While at UMC, Chen recruited numerous Micron Taiwan employees, including Ho and Wang, according to the indictment.

That company partnered with a Chinese-controlled business, Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co., to mass-produce technology memory storage products used in computer electronics.

"We see it time and again: Chinese actors have stolen wind turbine technology in Wisconsin, agricultural research in Kansas, cancer drug research in Pennsylvania, and software source code in NY", said Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski in prepared remarks at the announcement.

The justice department is now prosecuting five additional cases of economic theft and attempted theft that was meant "for the benefit of the Chinese government", Mr Sessions said.

The attorney general said he had ordered the creation of a "China Initiative" that would identify priority Chinese trade theft cases and bring those to effective and quick conclusion.

Congress in August passed laws to expand the government's power to review foreign investments in the country. "It's bigger than intellectual property theft". Ltd., a Chinese state-owned company; United Microelectronics Corp. It wants to keep working with China without sharing key technologies. Micron had previously filed a civil suit in California against both UMC and Fujian Jinhua, accusing the two of the same thing -stealing intellectual property.

The indictment was filed September 27 and unsealed Thursday, when the civil case was filed.

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