The Ministry of Justice is to hold a meeting today with representatives of tech firms at the Hsinchu Science Park to counteract Beijing’s efforts to recruit industrial spies and steal technological know-how.
Chinese companies have long targeted Taiwanese tech talent to work in China, but in recent years have arranged for recruits to stay in Taiwan under the pretext of doing research and development, but are actually working as industrial spies, Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang (蔡清祥) said during a meeting with reporters on Wednesday.
“Chinese companies offer high salaries through headhunting agencies to entice Taiwanese working in high tech to work as corporate spies, resulting in financial losses for many Taiwanese enterprises and affecting the nation’s economic competitiveness,” he said.
Photo: Wu Cheng-fong, Taipei Times
Prosecutor Huang Chih-chung (黃致中) cited as an example the case of a former engineer at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, the world’s largest contract chipmaker, who was indicted in 2018 for theft of trade secrets.
The engineer, surnamed Wu (吳), copied trade secrets linked to TSMC’s 28-nanometer process technology with the intention of taking the data with him to China when he took a new job at CSMC Technologies Corp.
Wu, who was charged with breach of trust and contravening the Trade Secrets Act (營業秘密法), was in February found guilty and handed an 18-month suspended sentence by the Hsinchu District Court.
“China’s covert plans to steal trade secrets and commercial proprietary information do not just target Taiwan, but can be found in many nations around the world,” Huang said.
Prosecutors, along with teams from the justice ministry and investigation agencies, are to convene a talk today with high-tech firms at the Hsinchu Science Park, the main information technology cluster in northern Taiwan, the ministry said.
Meetings with firms at other science parks in central and southern Taiwan are to be held in the coming weeks, it added.
Asked for a comment, the Hsinchu Science Park Administration yesterday said that the forum is a regular activity.
About 200 companies based in the park, including TSMC and MediaTek Inc, have applied to participate in the forum, it said.
In addition to the minister of justice, Taiwan High Prosecutors’ Office Chief Prosecutor Hsing Tai-chao (邢泰釗) is to join the forum and provide tips on how to protect corporate trade secrets from theft, it added.
Meanwhile, lawmakers also urged the government to boost information security protection measures.
Military personnel and personnel privy to state secrets should have a better sense of national security, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政) said.
Infiltration by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) would not succeed unless people from the inside cooperate with it, Lo said.
In some cases, money and romance were used to lure people to leak confidential information, and authorities should learn from past cases to anticipate new ploys employed by the CCP, he said.
DPP Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) cited as an example the National Chung-shan Institute of Science and Technology’s solicitation of tenders for network-
attachment storage services listing connectivity with China’s Baidu Cloud cloud-based storage service as a prerequisite.
This reflects a sore lack of awareness of Chinese infiltration that pervades government agencies, even one tasked with developing weapons, Wang said.
Information security is not a show you put on for others, he said, urging the institute to check for any information security loopholes by working with the National Security Bureau, the military’s General Staff for Communication, Electronics and Information, and the Executive Yuan’s National Information and Communication Security Taskforce.
Additional reporting by Lisa Wang and Wu Su-wei
RULES IGNORED: CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang said that crew members who break the rules would be required to complete the full 14-day quarantine Three EVA Airways flight attendants were fired last month and this month after they failed to follow the government’s quarantine requirements. This was the first time that flight attendants have lost their jobs for quarantine failures. One flight attendant reportedly breached the quarantine mandate by going to school, visiting relatives and dining with friends, while lying to the company about her activities, EVA Air said. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) have established disease prevention measures for cabin crew members, such as monitoring their health and reporting their temperature daily, the company said. While on flight duty, crew
LOOPHOLES: The people behind biased media content produced by a Chinese network, likely without sending staff to Taiwan, remain anonymous, a source said Beijing’s latest attempt at psychological warfare through heavily biased online media is aimed at sowing discord and polarizing Taiwanese society, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said. The council’s comment came in response to Chinese network Southeast Television, which late last month began broadcasting an online program featuring commentary by Taiwanese unification supporters that authorities suspect was filmed illegally in Taiwan. To circumvent cross-strait regulations, the broadcaster collaborated with online service provider Baidu to air the series titles Diverse Voices From the Taiwan Strait (台海百家說). Only Taiwanese are shown on camera, without revealing the host, interviewer or production team. In one video, political commentator and
A group of overseas Taiwanese in Norway are taking a case on their national identity to the European Court of Human Rights — with plans to file the case in the first half of next year — after Norway’s Supreme Court rejected their appeal to change their listed nationality from “China” to “Taiwan,” Joseph Liu, a Taiwanese lawyer living in Norway, told reporters on Monday. One of the initiators of the movement, “My Name, My Right,” Liu and his group plan to hire lawyers from the UK and France who know European law and have knowledge of Asia to represent them,
SUPPRESSION: Michael Tsai, a former defense minister, said that Beijing’s list of Taiwan independence advocates contravenes the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights The best way to respond to threats from China against Taiwan independence advocates is for the president to publicly reiterate Taiwan’s sovereignty, former minister of national defense Michael Tsai (蔡明憲) said on Sunday. Chinese media on Nov. 15 said that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was compiling “a list of stubborn Taiwanese separatists and will severely punish them in accordance with [China’s] Anti-Secession Law and hold them accountable for their actions for the rest of their lives.” Chinese media subsequently accused Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) of being a “first-rate war criminal,” because of his policy on mask exports. “The vast majority