Sun, Sep 01, 2013 - Page 1 News List

Court orders arrest of HTC officials

By Rich Chang and Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporters

Chien Chih-lin, vice general manager of smartphone manufacturer HTC’s research department, is detained by Investigation Bureau staff in Taipei last night.

Photo: CNA

The Taipei District Court yesterday ordered the detention of two senior HTC Corp (宏達電) officials on suspicion of embezzlement and theft of commercial secrets.

The court ruled that vice general manager of HTC’s research department Chien Chih-lin (簡志霖) and department director Wu Chien-hung (吳建弘) be kept in custody.

Prosecutors said Chien and Wu planned to open new phone design companies in Taiwan and China. They were suspected of planning to cooperate with local governments in China to start companies and transfer HTC technology to China, prosecutors said.

The court granted the prosecutors’ request to detain the pair on the grounds that they may collude with others and flee the country.

They were detained on suspicion of violating Taiwan’s Trade Secrets Act (營業秘密法), the Securities Exchange Act (證券交易法) and other laws, the court said.

Earlier yesterday, prosecutors released senior engineer Huang Hung-yi (黃弘毅) on NT$300,000 (US$10,000) bail and senior manager Huang Kuo-ching (黃國清) on NT$100,000 bail.

The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office launched the investigation after HTC filed charges against the executives. On Friday afternoon after the stock market closed, prosecutors and agents from the Ministry of Justice’s Investigation Bureau searched their offices in HTC’s building in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Sindian District (新店).

Prosecutors said HTC accused the senior officials of using fake receipts to seek reimbursements of close to NT$10 million.

HTC was quoted by prosecutors as alleging the suspects were planning to open three phone design companies in Taiwan and China and accusing them of stealing commercial secrets related to a new model’s screen interface.

HTC also accused them of betraying the company’s trust, fraud and leaking commercial secrets, according to prosecutors.

HTC yesterday said the case will not affect company operations. It declined to disclose further information, citing non-disclosure clauses.

It also declined to confirm whether new-generation interface “Sense” software was targeted.

The Sense user interface is one of the selling points for the company’s new phones. HTC is expected to unveil its new phone with the 6.0 Sense software later this year.

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