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Taiwan accuses Chinese Apple supplier of trying to illegally poach tech talent




By Reuters | Updated: May 31, 2024

TAIPEI, May 31 (Reuters) – Taiwanese law enforcement has accused a Chinese Apple (AAPL.O), supplier of illegally operating in Taiwan and trying to poach tech talent, and said a U.S.-sanctioned Chinese firm had illegally set up operations on the island.

Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory, has been stepping up efforts to stop what it views as underhand and illegal activities by Chinese firms to steal know-how and poach talent.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau late on Thursday named Luxshare Precision Industry (002475.SZ) as one of eight Chinese companies “that came to Taiwan to illegally engage in the poaching our high-tech talents”. It did not give details.

Luxshare did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The investigation bureau named video surveillance equipment maker Zhejiang Dahua Technology, which the United States added to a blacklist in 2019 over Beijing’s treatment of Muslim minorities in the far western Chinese region of Xinjiang.

Zhejiang Dahua set up “two private locations” in Taiwan and tried to circumvent investigation by listing its employees as working for another company, the bureau said, also without giving details.

Zhejiang Dahua did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Taiwan, home to chipmaker giant TSMC (2330.TW) and accounting for the majority of the world’s most advanced semiconductor manufacturing capacity, sees China’s efforts as a threat to its chip expertise.

“The facilitators of relevant mainland China companies in Taiwan should not be under any illusions and challenge the determination to enforce the law,” the bureau said, adding it would “resolutely crack down on illegal business operations and the poaching of talent”.

Thursday’s announcement was the result of a sweep this month of suspected illegal operations by Chinese tech companies.

In 2022, Taiwanese prosecutors accused Luxshare of stealing commercial secrets from a Taiwanese competitor, Catcher Technology (2474.TW) and poaching its workforce to win orders from Apple, saying it had charged 14 people.

@ Thomson Reuters 2024