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Taiwan plans to boost fines for illegal Chinese investors

2018/10/31 18:40:27

Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津)

Taipei, Oct. 31 (CNA) The government has drafted a plan to increase fines for Chinese individuals or institutions that invest illegally or conduct illegal activity in Taiwan to up to NT$25 million (US$807,681), Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) said Wednesday at the Legislative Yuan.

Shen was responding to criticism from lawmakers that Chinese investors have made large-scale investments in business premises near two science parks in Hsinchu County, which they said could become hotbeds of illegal activity, including stealing trade secrets.

Some Chinese investors have made large investments in wholesale and retail businesses in the peripheral areas of the Hsinchu Science Park, sparking concern that the areas could become a base for Chinese businesses, according to Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lai Jui-lung (賴瑞隆).

Meanwhile, according to media reports, there are several unlicensed Chinese companies at the Tai Yuen Hi-Tech Industrial Park, an industrial park in Zhubei, Hsinchu, Lai said.

In response, Shen pointed out that Chinese individuals or institutions are allowed to enter Taiwan's wholesale and retail sectors and said the ministry is closely monitoring their activity.

The ministry's Investment Commission will carry out regular and random inspections of Chinese-invested companies in Taiwan, including 149 registered and many unregistered ones at the Tai Yuen Hi-Tech Industrial Park, according to Lai.

During the legislative session, DPP Legislator Cheng Yun-peng (鄭運鵬) noted that while China's theft of U.S. commercial and trade secrets is considered a main cause of the trade friction between the two world powers, commercial and trade secrets involving key technology and techniques are considered essential to Taiwan's development.

Therefore, the government should amend the Trade Secrets Act to allow Taiwanese enterprises to be at ease regarding employing Taiwanese professionals returning from China, while it seeks to attract China-based Taiwanese businesses back to Taiwan, Cheng said.

In response, Shen said that an amendment to the Trade Secrets Act has been put on the legislative agenda of the current plenary session, adding that the ministry also plans to increase fines for Chinese investors if they are found to have engaged in illegal activity in Taiwan, and will raise awareness of the risk of theft of trade secrets.

(By Liao Yu-yang and Evelyn Kao)
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