Alleged China-funded firms raided over talent-poaching

03/09/2021 11:10 PM
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Illustrative photo from Pixabay
Illustrative photo from Pixabay

Update: Taiwanese tech CEOs released on bail over China investment violations

Taipei, March 9 (CNA) Taiwanese law enforcement officials on Tuesday raided the offices of two alleged China-funded companies and summoned 19 people for questioning over allegations of poaching talent from local hi-tech companies.

Acting on a tip-off, a task force comprising New Taipei prosecutors and investigators raided seven locations, including the offices of WiseCore Technology Co., Ltd. and IC Link Ltd., in New Taipei and Hsinchu, the New Taipei Prosecutors Office said in a statement.

Over the past three years, hundreds of Taiwanese engineers have been headhunted by the two firms through a joint venture set up in cooperation with a Chinese IC design company, the statement said, without identifying the Chinese company.

Evidence including salary bank passbooks, secret work contacts, letters offering work, staff rosters, electromagnetic registration data, cellphones and notebook computers were seized in the raids, it said.

A total of 19 people, including several top executives of WiseCore and IC Link, were called in for questioning for allegedly breaching the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area, the statement said.

The two companies were allegedly set up by a subsidiary of Beijing-based Bitmain Technologies Ltd. without permission from Taiwan's Investment Commission, according to local media reports.

In 2018, IC Link successfully recruited 200 R&D engineers from local IC design companies such as MediaTek Inc., MStar Semiconductor Inc. and Global Unichip Corp. by offering double the normal local salary equivalents -- ranging from NT$7 million (US$246,500) to NT$11 million per annum, the reports said.

(By Flor Wang and Shen Pei-yao)


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