Thursday, May 4th 2017

TSMC Trade Secrets Stolen - Former Engineer Arrested In China

In the highly competitive, high-stakes scene of the business world - and particularly so in the silicon giants of the era - trade secrets, specifications, and protecting one's intellectual property that give the leg-up on competitors is key towards success. And while most companies work within the meanders of law (even if sometimes skirting it ever so lightly), some don't. And things like this happen: the steal (or purported steal, because no one has been convicted yet) of trade secrets by former employees is one of the most dreaded occurrences in the tech world - remember Zenimax and Carmack's "dovetailing"?

Chinese manufacturers are looking to enter the high-performance computing market with their own products, designs, and manufacturing capability. In this case, former TSMC engineer Hsu is being accused of stealing proprietary information and other materials related to the foundry's 28 nm process technology. The goal would be to pass them to China-based Shanghai Huali Microelectronics (HLMC), with which he accepted a job offer, according to the Hsinchu District Prosecutors Office. Digitimes reports that HLMC had been aggressively headhunting for talent to kick start its 28 nm manufacturing process, though if true, this sound like a little too aggressive of a headhunting.
Sources: Digitimes, WCCFTech
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36 Comments on TSMC Trade Secrets Stolen - Former Engineer Arrested In China

#1
natr0n
Another day of China doing what they do best.
Posted on Reply
#2
Ferrum Master
natr0n
Another day of China doing what they do best.
That's not only in china... it actually happens everywhere.
Posted on Reply
#3
Captain_Tom
This may turn into an excellent test of if China's ready to enter the modern business world, and if the "fair" players will put up with their BS.


I expect TSMC and other applicable parties (AMD/Nvidia) to sue any company that makes use of these illegal actions, and then I wonder if China will finally start recognizing international law...
Posted on Reply
#4
xkm1948
People steal trade secrets all the time. We have agents from Monsanto around our lab all the time trying to bag away our lab notebooks or engineered seeds. Multile million dollar business so people will do crazy shit to get what they want.
Posted on Reply
#5
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
Captain_Tom
This may turn into an excellent test of if China's ready to enter the modern business world, and if the "fair" players will put up with their BS.


I expect TSMC and other applicable parties (AMD/Nvidia) to sue any company that makes use of these illegal actions, and then I wonder if China will finally start recognizing international law...
I think AMD needs to have their fabs in house again, so aka Germany, Fab51 anyone?
Posted on Reply
#6
arterius2
natr0n
Another day of China doing what they do best.
So in the case of Waymo vs Uber (Otto) is just another day of what America doing what they do best? The hypocrisy is unsettling here.
Posted on Reply
#7
yogurt_21
28nm? why not steal the 14nm stuff? stupid amateur tech thieves.
Posted on Reply
#8
arterius2
yogurt_21
28nm? why not steal the 14nm stuff? stupid amateur tech thieves.
Because he/they were being realistic, China does not currently have the fab. capability to produce 14nm even if they have the tech.
Posted on Reply
#9
RejZoR
Ferrum Master
That's not only in china... it actually happens everywhere.
Lets be honest here, while China has some innovative tech companies, majority of China's production of everything is based on copy copy copy steal steal steal. It's so deeply ingrained in their culture they don't know anything else.
Posted on Reply
#11
Ferrum Master
RejZoR
Lets be honest here, while China has some innovative tech companies, majority of China's production of everything is based on copy copy copy steal steal steal. It's so deeply ingrained in their culture they don't know anything else.
Won't happen...

China still has no hight tech skill really... nor metallurgy nor semiconductor, no matter how they try to spy.
Posted on Reply
#12
erocker
*
Ferrum Master
That's not only in china... it actually happens everywhere.
China is notorious for it. Back in the 80's when China was just ramping up its industrial era my father worked for a large US corporation. Chinese spy's were found on a weekly basis.
Posted on Reply
#13
Ferrum Master
erocker
China is notorious for it. Back in the 80's when China was just ramping up its industrial era my father worked for a large US corporation. Chinese spy's were found on a weekly basis.
That's the industry as such... There are Russian, Israeli, Italian, French etc spies... everywhere where some kind of military tech is developed such passionate charades happen, It's an old cold war tradition.
Posted on Reply
#14
Bansaku
natr0n
Another day of China doing what they do best.
Yup! I am surprised we don't hear of more stories like this coming out daily!!

:toast:
Posted on Reply
#15
xkm1948
RejZoR
Lets be honest here, while China has some innovative tech companies, majority of China's production of everything is based on copy copy copy steal steal steal. It's so deeply ingrained in their culture they don't know anything else.
Wow, talking abou "culture" and ignorence. China was the central hub of science and culture of the world until 19th century.
Posted on Reply
#16
arterius2
erocker
China is notorious for it. Back in the 80's when China was just ramping up its industrial era my father worked for a large US corporation. Chinese spy's were found on a weekly basis.
Really? you are using the 80s as basis for your prejudice? In case you didn't know. Alot has happened in those 30-40 years

Ferrum Master
Won't happen...

China still has no hight tech skill really... nor metallurgy nor semiconductor, no matter how they try to spy.
Sorry but China is actually at the forefront on it. You must have been living behind a rock.
Posted on Reply
#17
erocker
*
arterius2
Really? you are using the 80s as basis for your prejudice? In case you didn't know. Alot has happened in those 30-40 years
Where is my prejudice? I stated a fact, nothing more. Surely one can express a statement one way or the other without being vehemently against one or another? Can you point out anywhere in my statement where I'm blind to what's happened in the past 30 years? Is there a statute of limitations where you're from in regards to information and time?
Posted on Reply
#18
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
xkm1948
Wow, talking abou "culture" and ignorence. China was the central hub of science and culture of the world until 19th century.
In China, elsewhere it was the Arab world.
Posted on Reply
#19
xkm1948
The ignorance level at TPU is truly amazing. At scientific research Chinese has been advancing faster than any other nation on this planet and yes that is including the good old USA. Our funding for scientific research has been horrible for quite some time. NIH, NSF and DOE haven't seen much budget increase for a very long time. A lot of labs have been closed due to lack of funding. While at the same time China has been recruiting loads of foregin and domestic talents to work on cutting edge research.

Stop living under rocks, they may still be trailing US now. With the current state of US (bat shit crazy liberals, shrinking public funding for scientific research) it will be a lot harder to say 20 yrs down the road.
Posted on Reply
#20
Prima.Vera
Frick
In China, elsewhere it was the Arab world.
Before retarded Religious or Political indoctrination, all of those countries were the main sources of inventions, culture and progress. Now.....no comment.
Posted on Reply
#21
xkm1948
Prima.Vera
Before retarded Religious or Political indoctrination, all of those countries were the main sources of inventions, culture and progress. Now.....no comment.
China/Japan/Korea still is. The other one, well, not so much.
Posted on Reply
#22
laszlo
hmm... as i know China has all the needed tech and all they need is the "brains" to move forward

is easier to "hire" someone with knowledge (secrets) than learning from scratch...
Posted on Reply
#23
RejZoR
xkm1948
Wow, talking abou "culture" and ignorence. China was the central hub of science and culture of the world until 19th century.
That's a fact, not something I made up or because I'd secretly hate Chinese. Chinese would do ANYTHING to make a business. Copy, steal, go the shortest shortcuts one can make to create products etc. And yes, that IS for a fact so deeply ingrained in their culture it's basically impossible to root it out now. Or ever probably. Don't mix in ancient China to Communist China. It's not related to one another AT ALL. What we're talking here is China of today and that's their global MO. Especially for companies that operate within China only because global laws pretty much don't apply to them. And this doesn't just go for our beloved electronics, they even do it for example growing of vegetables. They'll pour whatever chemicals and fertilizers they can get to make the thing grow at maximal rate regardless of how toxic and harmful it is to the end consumer. It's just business business business.

Only time Chinese companies have to actually begin obeying business laws and practices of the west is when they go global. Because they are simply forced into this. But having such massive market as China, basically anyone good enough at stealing and copying can become big to enter global markets. And it's easier to start doing that when you're already big than for example European or American startups that have to start from zero in a proper way without just copying someone's design and learning from that pretty much for free.

You can call me racist or Chinese hater, but that's all a fact, I'm more surprised you're not aware of it...

@laszlo
There is a difference between lending your excellent engineering skills and just plain handing them over the blueprints...
Posted on Reply
#24
DeathtoGnomes
RejZoR
That's a fact, not something I made up or because I'd secretly hate Chinese. Chinese would do ANYTHING to make a business. Copy, steal, go the shortest shortcuts one can make to create products etc. And yes, that IS for a fact so deeply ingrained in their culture it's basically impossible to root it out now. Or ever probably. Don't mix in ancient China to Communist China. It's not related to one another AT ALL. What we're talking here is China of today and that's their global MO. Especially for companies that operate within China only because global laws pretty much don't apply to them. And this doesn't just go for our beloved electronics, they even do it for example growing of vegetables. They'll pour whatever chemicals and fertilizers they can get to make the thing grow at maximal rate regardless of how toxic and harmful it is to the end consumer. It's just business business business.

Only time Chinese companies have to actually begin obeying business laws and practices of the west is when they go global. Because they are simply forced into this. But having such massive market as China, basically anyone good enough at stealing and copying can become big to enter global markets. And it's easier to start doing that when you're already big than for example European or American startups that have to start from zero in a proper way without just copying someone's design and learning from that pretty much for free.

You can call me racist or Chinese hater, but that's all a fact, I'm more surprised you're not aware of it...

@laszlo
There is a difference between lending your excellent engineering skills and just plain handing them over the blueprints...
Not everyone will see China like that, but thats the truth of the matter, many are just have blinders on and ignore the pettiness China brings to the table now. They want the upper hand at everything and WILL stab you in the back to get it. "Sorry, nothing personal, just business." its a motto thats being inbreed into every business deal in the pretty much all the Asian markets since WWII. The next best thing to "knowledge is power" is "money buys power", some countries just take that to a whole new level.
Posted on Reply
#25
Boosnie
Ferrum Master
That's the industry as such... There are Russian, Israeli, Italian, French etc spies... everywhere where some kind of military tech is developed such passionate charades happen, It's an old cold war tradition.
And then NSA wiped out all the competition.


RejZoR
That's a fact, not something I made up or because I'd secretly hate Chinese. Chinese would do ANYTHING to make a business. Copy, steal, go the shortest shortcuts one can make to create products etc. And yes, that IS for a fact so deeply ingrained in their culture it's basically impossible to root it out now. Or ever probably. Don't mix in ancient China to Communist China. It's not related to one another AT ALL. What we're talking here is China of today and that's their global MO. Especially for companies that operate within China only because global laws pretty much don't apply to them. And this doesn't just go for our beloved electronics, they even do it for example growing of vegetables. They'll pour whatever chemicals and fertilizers they can get to make the thing grow at maximal rate regardless of how toxic and harmful it is to the end consumer. It's just business business business.

Only time Chinese companies have to actually begin obeying business laws and practices of the west is when they go global. Because they are simply forced into this. But having such massive market as China, basically anyone good enough at stealing and copying can become big to enter global markets. And it's easier to start doing that when you're already big than for example European or American startups that have to start from zero in a proper way without just copying someone's design and learning from that pretty much for free.

You can call me racist or Chinese hater, but that's all a fact, I'm more surprised you're not aware of it...
Ok, let's make the meaning of words clear.
When you say "engrained in their culture" in the reader is created an image of ancient chinese emperors making Ming porcelains as in Ghost just after stealing the procedure to produce it.
The truth is china was a rural, pre industrialization economy just until 1980. There is really truly nothing of what you perceive as their way of living "engrained in their culture".

Moreover, if you think that western patent system is something that can result in an advantage for the consumer you are wrong.
There is nothing that says that the western way is THE way. Open economical competition truly involve different meanings and levels of the word "copy".
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