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Taiwan Charges 4 Individuals for Helping China Poach Tech Talent

The Taipei District Prosecutors Office charged four individuals for illegally poaching Taiwanese tech talent and violating cross-strait relations on Tuesday.

An investigation revealed that XEPIC, a major Chinese electronic design automation software development company, established an office in Taiwan in October 2020 without permission from the country’s authorities. A man surnamed Chen (陳) served as the office manager, per CNA.

The company’s management hired Taiwanese engineers through personal connections, job websites, and headhunting agencies in December of the same year. Chen was instructed to conduct interviews as well as R&D work in Taiwan.

The prosecutor’s investigation found that Chen interviewed potential candidates one after another for software development and design work at the XEPIC’s Taiwan office. He also connected the chip development results in Taiwan to XEPIC’s servers or workstations in China through a virtual private network.

To conceal the fact that XEPIC’s Taiwan office employees were conducting business activities for the Chinese company, XEPIC signed an agreement with a company owned by a Taiwanese man surnamed Tsai (蔡). This agreement allowed Tsai’s company to recruit employees for XEPIC’s Taiwan office and provide them with labor and health insurance.

The Taipei District Prosecutor’s Office filed charges on Tuesday against Chen and Tsai for violating the Taiwan Relations Act.

In a second case, the China Fujian Electronic Information Corporation illegally poached a Taiwanese technical team to work for the Chinese government.

Fujian Electronics & Information Co., Ltd is a state-owned electronic and communications corporation. It was formed by the Fujian provincial government in 2000.

A 2022 company prospectus says that Fujian Electronics possesses expertise in producing military communication and navigation equipment. The corporation has participated in standard-setting for military equipment.

In 2015, Fujian Electronics wanted to acquire IBM’s Informix database server code but lacked a technical team. They sought assistance from two individuals surnamed Lin (林), who were the owners of the Taiwanese company Cobrasonic Software Inc.

Cobrasonic Software is a vendor for IBM products in Asia including Informix. The company website says “Cobrasonic Software Inc. is a leading provider of enterprise database management solutions for Informix.”

Fujian Electric established a joint company with the two Lin’s called Sinoregal. Sinoregal then established Feig Science and Technology Development Co. (Taiwan).

As Feig is a Chinese-funded company, it is banned from recruiting research and development talent in Taiwan. Feig then hired Chinese engineers from their own company called Cobrasonic Software Co. to work for Sinoregal to help Fujian Electric obtain the Informix source code.

Taipei District Prosecutors Office filed charges against the Lins for violating cross-strait regulations.

In recent years, there have been a number of cases of Chinese tech companies luring Taiwanese high-tech talents and stealing industry technology, according to news reports. Chinese enterprises have increasingly engaged in business activities in Taiwan through third-party investments, often under false identities, attempting to conceal their identity or the source of their funds for investment in Taiwan, the reports said.

Source: Taiwan News