China challenges US to provide 'evidence' in trade secrets case

China challenges US to provide 'evidence' in trade secrets case

The indictments come as the United States remains locked in a bitter trade war with China, which the Trump administration has accused of unfair trade practices, including stealing valuable intellectual property and technology from U. companies.

The indictment released in the USA district court in San Jose, California alleges that Chinese state-owned Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co. and privately owned United Microelectronics Corporation of Taiwan, along with three UMC executives, conspired to steal Micron trade secrets to help UMC and Fujian Jinhua develop DRAM chips used in many computer processors.

"Chinese economic espionage against the United States has been increasing", Attorney General Jeff Sessions said. They are accused of conspiring to steal technology from Micron Technology, an Idaho-based chipmaker that does extensive business in Asia.

One of the companies indicted is Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co, a state-owned firm that is central to Beijing's "Made in China 2025" scheme to dominate new high-technology industries.

"The Chinese government's complicity in intellectual property theft hurts American manufacturers, workers, and consumers, and undermines the ability of USA businesses to operate in China", Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, the vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said in an emailed statement.

Underscoring the indictment and the announcement of the initiative were the presence of Attorney General Jeff Session, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and an array of other officials from the DOJ and FBI.

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.




"UMC regrets that the U.S. Attorney's Office brought these charges without first notifying UMC and giving it an opportunity to discuss the matter", the company said.

The trade secrets are worth up to $8.75 billion, the department said. Micron is the only US company to develop DRAM.

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has filed charges against state-owned Chinese chip maker Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit and Taiwanese foundry United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC), along with three Taiwanese citizens, accusing them of having stolen trade secrets from US memory maker Micron. Since the start of 2017, Sessions said, the Justice Department has charged three people with spying for China and is now prosecuting five Chinese economic espionage cases. A Justice Department spokesman said the defendants were served summonses in Taiwan and that none is in US custody.

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.

The Justice Department also will target Chinese threats to USA companies that provide components for sensitive technologies, especially those in the telecommunications sector as it readies for the transition to 5G networks. China did not possess DRAM capabilities before the alleged theft but had identified its development as a national economic priority, the US said. It wants to keep working with China without sharing key technologies. This week the Commerce Department it had put Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit on a list of entities that can not buy components, software, and technology goods from USA firms.

The criminal case is US v.

"Chinese economic espionage against the United States has been increasing and it has been increasing rapidly", Sessions said at a press conference. The US has taken an increasingly tough and confrontational stance toward what it characterizes as China's "predatory" economic policies.

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