A California businessman was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Thursday for stealing DuPont trade secrets to help a state-owned Chinese company develop a white pigment used in a wide range of products.
A jury earlier this year found Walter Liew (劉元軒) guilty on over 20 criminal counts, including conspiracy to commit economic espionage and trade secret theft. The government had requested a sentence of between 17.5 years and 22 years. Attorneys for Liew, 56, argued he should receive a maximum of eight years.
The US has identified industrial spying as a significant and growing threat to the nation’s prosperity. Prosecutors also charged Pangang Group (攀鋼集團), a steel manufacturer in Sichuan Province, in the Liew case, but that indictment stalled after a US judge ruled that prosecutors’ attempts to notify the Chinese company of the charges were legally insufficient.
At Thursday’s sentencing, US District Judge Jeffrey White said Liew “turned against his adopted country for greed,” adding that a “loud message” must be sent to those looking to steal from US companies.
An attorney for Liew, Stuart Gasner, declined to comment outside court. However, during the hearing, he argued that Liew’s sentence should be limited because the trade secrets at issue were not very valuable to DuPont.
Liew, in custody since the jury returned its verdict, apologized for his actions for what a government lawyer said was the first time.
“I feel terrible about it,” Liew said.
At trial, US prosecutors said Liew met with Chinese officials who directed him to seek technologies that could help the country. He then paid former DuPont employees to reveal trade secrets to help Pangang Group develop a white pigment called chloride-route titanium dioxide the government argued. The pigment is used to make a variety of white-tinted products, including paper, paint and plastics.
Pangang paid Liew’s company US$28 million, according to prosecutors. White ordered that amount of money forfeited to the government, and fined Liew’s company, an engineering consulting firm, about US$19 million.
The judge acknowledged that Liew fought his way out of poverty and was a loving father. However, White said the businessman embarked on “a virtual white-collar crime spree.”
Softbank Group Corp plans to keep a stake in the chip designer Arm Ltd, even if it sells a partial interest to Nvidia Corp, the Nikkei reported. The companies are negotiating terms, the newspaper reported, citing sources. Softbank might take a stake in Nvidia after it buys Arm, the report said. Nvidia and Arm might also merge through a share swap, and Softbank would become a major shareholder in the combined company, it said. The two parties aim to reach a deal in the next few weeks, the sources said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Nvidia is the
END TO SPECULATION: The hotel’s management contract has been extended, despite reports that it wanted to end its alliance with Hyatt Hotels over a deal with Riant Capital Singapore-based Hong Leong Hotel Development Ltd (豐隆大飯店股份) yesterday said it has extended a management contract to ensure the continued presence of the Grand Hyatt brand in Taipei, ending rumors that the two sides were parting ways. “We are pleased Hyatt is able to come to terms on the extension of the management contract of Grand Hyatt Taipei,” said Kwek Leng Beng (郭令明), executive chairman of City Developments Ltd (城市發展) and Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Ltd (千禧國敦酒店). Hong Leong Hotel Development is a subsidiary of Millennium, and both fall under the Hong Leong Group (豐隆集團). The Grand Hyatt Taipei (台北君悅大飯店), owned and built by
MOVING FROM CHINA? The article did not name the company, but Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron were among firms chosen for a production-linked incentive plan in India An Apple Inc vendor is looking at shifting six production lines to India from China, which could result in US$5 billion of iPhone exports from the South Asian nation, the Times of India reported, citing people familiar with the matter who it did not identify. The establishment of the facility would create about 55,000 jobs over about a year, the newspaper reported, not naming the Apple vendor. It would also cater to the domestic market and expand operations to include tablets and laptops, the newspaper reported. Samsung Electronics Co and Apple’s assembly partners are among 22 companies that have pledged 110 billion
’WHITE BOX’: The open platform would give local firms access to Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop 5G telecom equipment and tap into the global market The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday introduced a new 5G “open lab” in collaboration with US-based information technology and networking giant Cisco Systems Inc to address the rapidly growing “white box” 5G networking equipment market. The open lab will be a platform where Taiwanese manufacturers can access Cisco’s cloud-based mobile network to develop their own 5G telecom equipment, such as small-cell base stations, network switches, modems and Internet of things (IoT) devices, a ministry statement said. The open platform would allow Taiwanese manufacturers to tap into the lucrative 5G telecom equipment market, which was previously monopolized by Nokia Oyj, Ericsson AB