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UMC and Micron Settle US-China Trade Secrets Dispute

UMC admitted in a US court that it had hired engineers from Micron in 2015 who shared confidential information with a Chinese group


The logo of US memory chip maker Micron Technology is pictured at their booth at an industrial fair in Frankfurt. Photo: Reuters

 

Taiwanese chipmaker United Microelectronics Corporation will pay US-based Micron Technology an undisclosed fee to settle a legal dispute between the two companies, they said in a joint statement.

UMC was fined $60 million in October last year after pleading guilty to charges of stealing trade secrets and sharing them with Fujian Jinhua during a collaboration with the Chinese company.

“The companies will globally withdraw their complaints against the other party, and UMC will make a one-time payment of an undisclosed amount to Micron,” UMC and Micron said in identical statements.

“UMC and Micron look forward to engaging in mutual business cooperation opportunities,” the statement added.

The companies were pushed to decouple themselves from China during the heightened trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies that began under the presidency of Donald Trump.

The dispute began in 2016 when UMC signed a deal with Fujian Jinhua.

In October 2020, UMC admitted in a US court that it had hired engineers from Micron in 2015 who later worked on the project and shared confidential information with the Chinese group.

New York-listed UMC focuses on logic and various specialty technologies for the electronics industry. Nasdaq-listed Micron makes DRAM, NAND and NOR memory and storage products.

UMC shares closed on Thursday up 0.7%, while Micron stock ended the day up 0.9%.

 

  • George Russell

 

 

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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.

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