An engineer from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has been arrested trying to leave the country for a new job in China.
Local reports say the engineer (the only name given is his surname, Hsu), has been charged with theft of trade secrets filed by the Hsinchu district prosecutor.
He was on the way to work for Shanghai-based Huali Microelectronics.
According to Taiwan News, Hsu was planning to pass on information about TSMC's 28 nanometre manufacturing process to Huali Microelectronics.
After Hsu's resignation in January, Taiwan News says TSMC discovered he was making “large scale” use of company photocopiers while serving out his notice. Copied materials were later removed from his residence.
Hsu also visited Shanghai in December, so TSMC has warned Huali Micro not to use “illegally acquired business documents and information”.
Focus on Taiwan says the formal charges include breach of trust under the country's Penal Code, and violating the Trade Secrets Act. ®