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Taiwan Takes Legal Route To Protect Itself From ‘China Tech Theft’

Taipei has long claimed Beijing has coveted the island’s semiconductor talent and its government is now proposing a legal change to further protect its intellectual property

A Taiwanese flag flaps in the wind in Taoyuan, Taiwan, on June 30, 2021. Photo: Ann Wang, Reuters.

 

Taiwan’s government claims China has stepped up its espionage efforts against the island and wants to tighten its laws to protect itself.

Taipei made the announcement on Wednesday alleging that Beijing has attempted to steal key technology through industrial espionage, talent poaching and other methods.

Taiwan is home to a thriving and world-leading semiconductor industry, used in everything from fighter jets to cars, and the government has long worried about Chinese efforts to copy that success.

 

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Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council said it was proposing a revision to an existing law governing China relations that would require people getting government money for certain technology to seek permission before going to China.

There would be fines of up to T$10 million ($360,555) for those who breach the law.

The council did not specify what constitutes “national core technology” or how the government defines “certain subsidies” provided by them, saying it would seek help from the technology ministry and further amend the regulations.

A senior Taiwan government official said the revision was meant to protect the island’s manufacturing technology for advanced chips, which industry experts say is generations ahead of China’s.

Four lawmakers from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party proposed in April amending the commercial secrets law to widen the scope of what is considered a secret and toughen penalties.

Taiwan blames China for most cases of industrial espionage by foreign forces discovered in recent years.

 

  • Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara

 

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Sean OMeara

Sean O'Meara is an Editor at Asia Financial. He has been a newspaper man for more than 30 years, working at local, regional and national titles in the UK as a writer, sub-editor, page designer and print editor. A football, cricket and rugby fan, he has a particular interest in sports finance.

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