USA charges Chinese, Taiwan firms for stealing secrets from Micron

Chinese company charged with stealing trade secrets from US chipmaker

Separately, Sessions a new Department of Justice initiative to combat Chinese economic espionage. In its accusation, the Department guarantees that China's Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co. what's more, Taiwan's United Microelectronics Corp. They are accused of conspiring to steal technology from Micron Technology, an Idaho-based chipmaker that does extensive business in Asia.

The charges against Taiwan-based United Microelectronics Corp, China state-owned Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit, Co, Ltd, and three individuals mark the fourth case brought since September as part of a broader crackdown against alleged Chinese espionage on U.S. companies. The Justice Department also filed a civil lawsuit to stop those stolen trade secrets from spreading, Sessions said.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a new Department of Justice initiative on Thursday, created to address Chinese cyberattacks and corporate spying on USA companies.

"Nothing more will be tolerated".

Prior to the plot, U.S. prosecutors said, neither the Chinese nor the Taiwanese company had any DRAM production capability.

"We are going to do everything we can to prevent the further dissemination of the unlawful stolen property", he said.

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With the USA unsealing a criminal indictment against United Microelectronics (UMC) and its China-based partner of stealing trade secrets from Micron Technology, the Taiwan-based foundry has issued a statement dismissing the allegations.

The technology at issue, known as dynamic random-access memory, is something that the Chinese government had identified as an important priority because its own companies could not develop such advanced capabilities and had to rely on companies outside of China.

Now, though, UMC itself stands accused of outright theft, with the US Department of Justice filing charges against it and Chinese chip maker Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit. The Justice Department will select five US attorneys to be part of the initiative.

A former Micron executive went to work for the Taiwan company charged in the indictment and orchestrated the theft of Micron trade secrets valued at $8.75 billion.

Trump tweeted Thursday that he had a "very good conversation" with Chinese President Xi Jinping "with a heavy emphasis on trade".

UMC issued a response noting that the allegations in the indictment and complaint are "virtually the same as allegations in a civil complaint previously filed by Micron against UMC".

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The charges name two companies, one in China and one in Taiwan, and three Taiwanese defendants.

In December 2017, Micron filed suit against UMC and Jinhua in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California for the misappropriation of Micron intellectual property and trade secrets.

"This is consistent with the state of confrontational actions over the last couple of weeks taken by the administration to tackle everything China's trying to do", said Samm Sacks, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Democratic Senator Mark Warner, vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, cheered the action, and said the administration should do more to crack down on economic espionage by Chinese businesses and the Chinese government.

"Nearly every one of our 56 FBI field offices throughout this nation has investigations into economic espionage that lead back to the country of China", Demers said. UMC said it regretted not having the opportunity to discuss the matter with USA authorities and will respond to the allegations accordingly, adding it expected no impact from the charges on its finances or business.

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