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back to article Chip design chap arrested for using photocopier

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 …

  1. John Savard Silver badge

    Charges

    Giving advanced technology to Red China? He should be facing espionage charges, not just commercial trade secret charges.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Charges

      "Red China"? Really? Who calls it that anymore?

      1. Graham Dawson Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Charges

        Yes, lets get back to calling it yellow.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Charges

        "Red China"? Really? Who calls it that anymore?"

        Fox News, seriously, along with Communist China.

  2. LazLong

    Just another normal business day in China

    The culture in the PRC is to steal all you can, phuck over your customers as much as you can get away with, and absolutely no respect for the IP rights of other.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just another normal business day in China

      The culture in the PRC is to steal all you can, phuck over your customers as much as you can get away with ...

      you mean as opposed to the gentle, caring practuces of large corporations everywhere else?

      where do you think they picked up that capitalism thingy?

      1. Eddy Ito
        WTF?

        Re: Just another normal business day in China

        where do you think they picked up that capitalism thingy?

        You clearly have a misunderstanding of capitalism. Please feel free how any of the alternatives better since at least with capitalism is that you have to work to steal the information as opposed to forcing it from your competitor at the point of a gun.

        Oh, your advantage is supposed to be given over freely. That makes it all better.?!

    2. localzuk

      Re: Just another normal business day in China

      Seems to be. Just thrown away what turned out to be a counterfeit RS232-USB adapter, origin China. Surely there can't be enough money in silly little things like that to make it worth counterfeiting!?

      1. Gene Cash Silver badge

        Re: Just another normal business day in China

        Yup, I've got a counterfeit OBD-II dongle that reports an ELM-327 chip rev that ELM never made.

        No CE, FCC or any other government type acceptance. Crashes frequently. Doesn't accept several standard documented commands.

        I got an email begging me to post a review on Amazon, so I said the above, and now they're in an absolute panic for me to send it back so they can refund me and delete the review saying "counterfeit"

        None of my other points are even addressed, that's the one they keep saying "so solly!" about.

        Edit: counterfeit serial-USB chips are so bad and so prevalent, that FTDI once altered their Windows driver to brick such devices. Big Slashdot-style kerfuffle.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Just another normal business day in China

      "and absolutely no respect for the IP rights of other."

      It's not so long ago, in the days of the "Iron Curtain", that the communist countries pretty much only traded with each other and, under communist doctrine, there was no real concept of IP. It's hard enough getting the ex-communist countries onto the IP bandwagon, so you can only imagine what it must be like in an actual communist country having to make such a seismic shift to be able to trade with the rest of the world.

      And then, of course, they see what IP actually means to the non-communist countries, the stealing, unlicensed use, espionage, lack of morals and ethics, and is it any wonder that countries whose doctrine says theirs no such thing as IP treat it as a fig-leaf, barely paying lip service to it.

      Is there a week goes by without El Reg reporting on yet another court case over IP licensing? And that's just the IT industry. Multiply that by all the other industries around the world and is it any wonder China sees IP licensing as a game with variable rules where cheating is allowed for as long as you can get away with it.

  3. David 132 Silver badge

    Huali will totes obey, absolutely

    so TSMC has warned Huali Micro not to use “illegally acquired business documents and information”.

    Mm, I'm sure no PRC company would dream of using sensitive commercial information that had been acquired unlawfully.

    1. Eddy Ito
      WTF?

      Re: Huali will totes obey, absolutely

      Right! They're no different from a USA, DE, UK, SG, etc. company! Never use an unfair advantage against a competitor! It's practically a universal truth!

      Oh! Did you know that naive wasn't in the dictionary? It's true!

  4. LaeMing
    Happy

    On the other hand....

    .... I was once on an interviewing panel for a mid-sized Chinese tech company (they wanted a native English speaker to verify the applicants actually could speak intelligible English). Several of the interviewees were from competing companies and each was asked if they had any inside information they could bring with them.

    Plot-twist: the one who said "Sorry, No" got in the take-serously tray and the ones who claimed they could were binned. This company was smart enough to realise that if a prospective employee would do it to their previous employer on the way in, they would later do the same to them on the way out.

    1. DropBear

      Re: On the other hand....

      I find it a bit surprising all the others weren't smart enough to realise the company would be smart enough to realise this and hold it against them. "Lack of loyalty is a problem only if you're stupid enough to advertise it" is not exactly a new concept after all...

      1. LaeMing
        Meh

        Re: On the other hand....

        It's the usual 9:1 rule* of common sense that tends to apply across all humanity.

        *9 people got none for every 1 that has some.

  5. CraPo

    Is Huali....

    pronounced Hooli?

    1. Aladdin Sane

      Re: Is Huali....

      Probably worked in the XYZ division.

  6. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    In a tech company someone who resorts to a photocopier to nick trade secrets probably isn't the new employee you want. Unless his existing employer has banned cufflinks, of course.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Makes a change from getting caught photocopying an intimate part of your anatomy

  8. chivo243 Silver badge
    Coat

    Reminder to self...

    ...copy top secret data before I give notice!

    Coat with a copy of "How to win at industrial espionage" in the pocket ;-}

    1. DropBear

      Re: Reminder to self...

      ...preferably using someone else's swiped credentials.

      1. chivo243 Silver badge

        Re: Reminder to self...

        @DropBear

        Note to self, remember what DropBear said too!

    2. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Reminder to self...

      You joke, but that's what John Walker did when he was selling US Navy secrets to the Soviets from the '60s to the '80s.

      He was using the copier a lot, and someone asked what he was doing. He actually said "selling secrets to the Russians", the other guy laughed and walked off.

      So that's another reason I don't joke about bombs around TSA & FBI folks, as if I needed one...

  9. akeane
    FAIL

    Why didn't he...

    ... smuggle it out on microfilm, given the subject matter...

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