On Nov. 1, the US Justice Department initiated a lawsuit against China’s state-owned Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co, Taiwan-based United Microelectronics Corp (UMC) and three Taiwanese individuals for allegedly conspiring to steal trade secrets from US semiconductor company Micron Technology. According to foreign media reports, UMC, which assisted Fujian Jinhua in developing DRAM technology, could be fined a maximum of US$20 billion. However, at a press conference on Jan. 29, Chinese Minister of Industry and Information Technology Miao Wei made the surprising statement that Fujian Jinhua does not possess its own technology and argued that UMC should be held responsible for any disputes concerning technology. Miao also said that Fujian Jinhua was an innocent party in the matter.
The minister’s comments raise two important points. First, although China does not currently possess semiconductor technology, it is looking to develop its own semiconductor industry. Beijing is obtaining this technology by several means, including buying up foreign companies, industrial espionage and using Taiwanese businesses or Taiwanese spies. Secondly, Beijing, as it so often does, disposes of Taiwanese companies once they cease to be useful, tossing them to one side and then pushing them under a bus to evade liability.
It just so happened that, on the very day that Miao was speaking, foreign media reported that the US Justice Department was considering dropping criminal charges against UMC and instead levying a large fine. The following day, Chinese officials moved to shift the blame onto UMC, potentially complicating matters for the latter, which might no longer be able to get away with simply paying the fine.
China’s treatment of Taiwanese businesses as disposable assets is nothing new. One wonders how many Taiwanese companies, large and small, have been buried alive, their factories snatched away, their markets seized, their capital or technology stolen, and even guarantees of personal safety removed. Before, Taiwanese businesses favored China for its low production costs; now, they are bullish about the massive size of China’s market, and are still investing in the country.
However the US-China trade war has now been upgraded to a “technology war.” As Taiwan’s semiconductor industry becomes increasingly reliant on the Chinese market, Taiwanese companies are placing themselves at an ever greater risk of being dragged into the war. Moreover, China is using Taiwanese businesses to obtain the technology it needs. If this causes Taiwan to lose its leading position in semiconductor technology, it will cause severe damage to Taiwanese industry and the national interest. The UMC case should serve as a warning. Taiwanese businesses should cautiously assess the situation and ask themselves whether they are willing to run the risk of becoming the next sacrificial lamb.
(Translated by Edward Jones, Taipei Times)
Industrial espionage, also known as economic espionage or corporate espionage, is the gathering of classified information and intelligence for commercial purposes, rather than on national security grounds. Industrial espionage often takes place at a company-to-company level, but can also be conducted at a national level by governments seeking to obtain a competitive advantage against the economies of other nations.
Industrial espionage can be carried out by systematically gathering open-source information such as patent filings or information and products on display at trade shows, but it can also involve other means such as infiltrating a company’s computer network or obtaining sensitive information from a company’s employees through coercion.
In 2007 Jonathan Evans, then-director general of MI5, the UK’s counter-intelligence service, sent confidential letters to 300 major UK banks, accounting and legal firms, warning of cyber attacks from Chinese “state organizations” in addition to a number of other countries, according to the Times newspaper. The Chinese government denies any involvement in industrial espionage.
(Edward Jones, Taipei Times)
1. semiconductor n.
半導體 (ban4 dao2 ti3)
2. toss ... to one side phr.
一腳踢開 (yi1 jiao3 ti1 kai1)
3. shift the blame phr.
卸責 (xie4 ze2)
4. increasingly adv.
與日俱增 (yu3 ri4 ju4 zeng1)
5. leading position phr.
領先地位 (ling3 xian1 di4 wei4)
6. serve as a warning phr.
殷鑑不遠 (yin1 jian4 bu4 yuan3)
They may have had a reputation for trade, braids and fearsome raids, but the Vikings were far from a single group of flaxen-haired, sea-faring Scandinavians. A genetic study of Viking-age human remains has not only confirmed that Vikings from different parts of Scandinavia set sail for different parts of the world, but has revealed that dark hair was more common among Vikings than Danes today. What’s more, while some were born Vikings, others adopted the culture — or perhaps had it thrust upon them. “Vikings were not restricted to blond Scandinavians,” said Eske Willerslev, a co-author of the research from
Let’s dine out tonight (5/5) 今晚我們去餐廳吃飯吧（五） A: I can’t believe we ordered the hottest curry on the menu by mistake. I’m such a dunderhead: I should have checked with the waiter first. B: Never mind, the mango lassi the waiter gave us on the house really did the trick: my mouth has cooled down now. A: Why don’t you finish off the remainder of the lamb rogan josh — it’s the mildest of all the curries we ordered. I’ll polish off the beef vindaloo. Waste not, want not. B: Are you sure that’s wise? I might have to take you home in an ambulance. A: 真不敢相信我們竟然不小心點到菜單上最辣的一道咖哩。我真是個笨蛋：我應該先跟服務生確認的。 B: 沒關係，服務生送我們餐廳招待的芒果優格真的發揮魔力了：我的嘴巴現在冷卻下來囉。 A: 你要不要把剩下的喀什米爾羊肉咖哩吃完──這道是我們點的咖哩菜肴裡最溫和的。我會快速掃完辛辣香料牛肉咖哩。不浪費才能不虞匱乏。 B: 你確定這樣是明智之舉嗎？我搞不好要叫救護車載你回家哦。 （Edward
A: Here’s the meat section. How about some ribeye steak? B: Is ribeye your favorite cut? A: Yep. It has the perfect ratio of marbled fat to lean meat and a delicious flavor. B: You’re such a foodie! Australian or American? A: Australian: their cows are grass-fed, instead of grain-fed, which gives the meat a nicer flavor. B: OK, I’m sold. Let’s also go local with some wild boar sausages and pig’s blood cake. A: 這裡是肉品區，要不要買一些肋眼牛排？ B: 肋眼是你最喜歡的部位嗎？ A: 沒錯，肋眼大理石般的油花跟瘦肉比例完美，還有可口的風味。 B: 你真是個吃貨！要選澳洲牛還是美國牛？ A: 澳洲牛︰因為澳洲主要是草飼牛，而不是穀飼的，這讓肉的風味更好。 B: 好哦，我被你說服了。我們也買點本地產品吧，像是山豬肉香腸跟豬血糕。 (Edward Jones, Taipei Times / 台北時報章厚明譯) English 英文: Chinese 中文:
US Supreme Court Justice and liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg (also known as RBG), 87, died on September 18, opening a crucial vacancy on the high court expected to set off a pitched political battle at the peak of the presidential campaign. Ginsburg became only the second woman to serve as a Supreme Court Justice, when she was appointed to the court in 1993 by president Bill Clinton. She anchored its liberal faction, whittled to four by two appointments since 2017 from US President Donald Trump. The number of justices of the Supreme Court of the Unites States is nine; each