HTC employees accused of stealing company secrets

Four former HTC design executives at are facing up to 10 years of prison if found guilty of embezzlement and theft of commercial secrets, as the smartphone manufacturer claims the group knowingly gave vital information to potential rivals.

The District Court of Taiwan is investigating Huang Kuo-ching, Chien Chih-lin, Huang Hung-yi and Wu Chien-hung after HTC accused the men of illegally sending classified files to a source in China. They are also accused of creating a bogus invoice worth $334,000, to presumably fund their smartphone company “Xiaoyu” in China. HTC alleges the startup would be using some of its technology, including software capabilities of Sense 6.0, which is set to be unveiled later this year.

Chih-Lin and Chien-Hung are being held in custody at the prosecutor's request due to the fear they could flee the country amidst the allegations. Hung-Yi and Kuo-Ching were released on bail totaling NT$400,000 respectively.

The Taiwanese company has battled many issues recently, including their first ever quarterly loss which has led to a fall in shares. However, no concern has been expressed over a fall in market shares due to the incident.

In response to the scandal, HTC says it holds the “highest levels of integrity and ethics,” which include protecting the “intellectual properties” of the company, adding that the company is “refraining from further comments” because of the early stages of investigation.

Source: Taipei Times | Image: Mobile Witch

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9 Comments

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Oh well, I think the employees learned from the master, HTC keeps stealing technology from all smartphone makers, you can only say that HTC has very good in-house training program.

the $334,000 invoice could be totally legitimate. Instead of sending the design work to some other party,these guys gave it to their own company, and did the required work. Doesnt mean a crime was committed. sounds like a witch hunt from HTC to me.

Interestingly the company they formed in China is Xiaoyu (little jade)... makes one wonder less how Xiaomi (little rice or millet) made it this far with such 'low overhead'... ;-)

Cheers from Taipei

You know those HTC commercials where they talk about what HTC stands for? In this case, it would be High Tech Criminals.

I'm a big HTC fan but honestly, it shouldn't take a crisis for management to make sure that everything that is occurring in the business is above board and all kosher. Hopefully as HTC cracks down on some of these thieves they'll be able to claw back some marketshare and get the ship heading in the correct direction. Their HTC One has been a great product to launch but HTC needs to keep following up one good launch with a consistent delivery of great products that customers lust after.