Wednesday, January 9, 2019
Six engineers allegedly sold BASF intellectual property to Chinese company Jiangyin Jianghua Microelectronics Materials Co., according to the Taiwanese police agency that arrested them, on Jan. 7.
According to a report from Bloomberg, the one current and five former BASF engineers took a bribe of more than 40 million yuan ($5.8 million). Jianghua used their information to help build a new factory, according to Criminal Investigation Bureau official Lu Sung-hao. Lu added that the transfer involved the exchange of proprietary technology for the money.
BASF could lose $114 million per year due to the loss, Lu said. BASF has not confirmed that number.
The engineer involved who was still employed at BASF at the time has since been suspended, the German company said. Police in Taiwan discovered the scheme through an anonymous tip.
According to Bloomberg, Jianghua is a company that sells materials for various electronic products, including solar panels and displays. It went public in 2017.
The case is just one of many high-profile accusations from other countries that China unlawfully acquires and copies industrial designs and patents, including from within the United States. In 2014, T-Mobile filed a lawsuit that alleged an engineer from Chinese company Huawei stole part of a robot.
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