United States charges Chinese, Taiwan firms for stealing secrets from Micron

04 November, 2018, 10:34 | Author: Mable Gonzales
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks during a news conference to announce a criminal law enforcement action involving China at the Department of Justice in Washington Thursday Nov. 1 2018

Xi said he was "very happy" to talk to Trump again and that he would like to see him at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires later this month, adding that the two countries should "push for a mutually acceptable solution to China-US economic and trade issues", according to state media.

"The United States is standing up to the deliberate systematic and complicated threat posed to us around the world and in particular by the communist regime in China, which is notorious around the world for intellectual property theft", U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a press conference to announce the indictments, calling the alleged theft from Micron a "brazen scheme".

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said at the announcement, "Chinese economic espionage against the United States has been increasing-and it has been increasing rapidly". "We are here today to say, 'Enough is enough.' We're not going to take it anymore".

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.

It will be led by Assistant Attorney General John Demers, who heads the National Security Division of the Department of Justice.

According to the DOJ, the three individual defendants face up to 15 years imprisonment and $5 million in fines on the espionage counts, with a further 10 years of possible jail time for trade secrets theft.

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US efforts to counter that espionage are multifaceted, Bowdich said.

Jinhua is funded by the Chinese government and was created in February 2016 for the goal of designing, developing, and manufacturing DRAM, the Justice Department said.

The charges were the latest in a series of cases targeting what Washington calls an ongoing Beijing programme to steal valuable United States industrial and commercial secrets in order to advance the Chinese economy. Trump said the trade discussions were "moving along nicely".

The charges against Jinhua and UMC follow a string of government cases against individuals accused of attempting to steal information on behalf of China. A Justice Department spokesman said the defendants were served summonses in Taiwan and that none is in US custody.

He became the president of a Taiwanese branch under Micron, resigned in 2015 and brought trade secrets over to UMC and Fujian Jinhua, prosecutors said.

The Justice China Initiative is headed by the department's national security chief, Assistant Attorney General John Demers and will be made up of a senior Federal Bureau of Investigation official and five US attorneys and other senior officials. "This is part of a much broader whole-of-government approach to countering China's efforts to gain strategic advantage, particularly in emerging technology".

Prior to the events described in the indictment, the PRC did not possess DRAM technology, and the Central Government and State Council of the PRC publicly identified the development of DRAM and other microelectronics technology as a national economic priority. The US has taken an increasingly tough and confrontational stance toward what it characterizes as China's "predatory" economic policies.

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