United States of America v. United Microelectronics Corporation, et al.

CR 18 465
September 27, 2018
Federal Court
Federal Statutes
United States District Court for the Northern District of California

As China and the United States continue to spar over trade-related issues, the current administration has escalated protections for misappropriation of trade secrets by Chinese-related companies.

A China-backed Taiwanese company is in the United States government’s crosshairs as an increase in espionage has begun to mount. This spawned from the most recent indictment naming the company United Microelectronic Corporation (UMC), Fuijan Jinhua Integrated Circuit and three individuals named Stephen Chen, JT ho, and Kenny Wang in a scheme to steal trade secrets valued at up to $8.75 billion. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has reached a boiling point with Chinese espionage stating, “[w]e are here to say enough is enough”.

The individuals named in the above-mentioned indictment worked for Micron’s Taiwanese subsidiary, eventually working for UMC. The allegation states that the individuals planned to steal trade secrets from Micron (a United States chip-making company) through Micron’s MMT subsidiary. The United States is taking all necessary measures to address this issue. Attorney General Sessions explained the impact on United States companies and how the U.S. plans to move forward. In response to the indictment, senior VP and general counsel of Micron, Joel Poppen, stated “Micron has invested billions of dollars over decades to develop its intellectual property. The actions announced today reinforce that criminal misappropriation will be appropriately addressed.”

The trade tensions between the United States and China have increased as technology secrets have become more valuable and the misappropriation of these products and processes have gotten out of hand.

United States of America
and Kenny Wang, Co., Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit, J.T. Ho, Stephen Chen, United Microelectronics Corporation
Economic Espionage Act