Chinese Apple Inc has been accused of stealing the commercial secrets of Taiwanese supplier and poaching its workforce to win orders from United States company.
A total of 14 people have been charged in connection with the case for breach of trust and taking the commercial secrets for use abroad said Taiwanese prosecutors on Friday, reports Reuters.
The Taiwanese prosecutors claimed they found out, after a year and half investigation, that China’s Luxshare Precision Industry Co Ltd (002475.SZ) targeted Taiwanese competitor Catcher Technology Co Ltd (2474.TW) in order to quickly enter the Apple production chain to win orders.
The plaintiffs explained in a statement how the Chinese Apple technology company executed this. They wrote that Luxshare “lured” Catcher’s China based research and development team with promises of high salaries. In the process, stole business secrets from the Taiwanese firm, causing them big losses.
Catcher, known for making iPhone and iPad cases, said in a statement that it has continued to implement and optimise the protection of trade secrets and intellectual property rights, and would investigate anything that infringes on its rights and interests.
According to Reuters, Taiwan has been stepping up efforts to stop what it views as underhand and illegal activities by Chinese firms to steal know-how and poach away talent in what Taipei’s government views as a threat to the island’s tech prowess.
It reported that in May, Taiwanese authorities raided 10 companies or their R&D centres operating in Taiwan without approval suspected of illegally poaching chip engineers and other tech talent.
The prosecutors added that the reason why Luxshare did what they did was to be able to “quickly build factories and mass produce cases for iPhones, iPads and other products”.
Reports also stated that Luxshare and Apple, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The plaintiffs however affirmed that “The department will do its best to investigate such cases to maintain the sound development of our country’s enterprises and ensure the competitiveness of national industries.”