Former Samsung exec charged with stealing data to build chip plant in China

South Korean prosecutors charge a former Samsung executive with stealing information worth $233 million.

A former Samsung executive has been accused of stealing sensitive data for the company’s chip- making to build a copycat plant in China .

The 65-year-old employee, whose identity was not disclosed by South Korean prosecutors to the press, has already been arrested and will be investigated for violating industrial technology protection laws and stealing trade secrets between 2018 and 2019.

The case

The suspect, who has worked in the semiconductor industry for more than 25 years, founded two chip facilities in China and Singapore and hired more than 200 semiconductor professionals from Samsung and SK Hynix in South Korea.

Prosecutors said the stolen data from Samsung could cost at least $233 million.

Said information was going to be part of an imitation chip factory with a Taiwanese company, but it ended up canceling the project valued at 6 billion dollars.

After that, it received capital from Chinese investors to continue the plan, now with a factory just a kilometer and a half from Samsung ‘s Xian plant

defends itself

The defendant, arrested last month, denies the allegations, a prosecutor said.

Prosecutors said they had charged six other people for their alleged involvement, including an inspection company employee accused of leaking the architectural plan of the Samsung semiconductor factory .

“It is a serious offense that could deal a severe blow to our economic security by shaking the foundations of the domestic chip industry at a time of intensifying competition in chip manufacturing , ” the prosecution said.