HTC Executive Indicted For Leaking Secrets
Six employees of leading local smartphone maker HTC Corp, including vice president of product design Chien Chih-lin, were indicted by the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday on charges of leaking trade secrets and breach of trust.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Thomas Chien, formerly VP of product design at HTC, has been charged with leaking details of a future smartphone interface design, believed to be version 6.0 of the company’s Sense software for Android.
In addition, prosecutors allege that Chien and his collaborators profited to the tune of 33.6 million New Taiwanese dollars ($1.12m) by accepting kickbacks from suppliers and charging fake expenses back to HTC.
The Taipei Times named the 5 other HTC employees involved in the indictment as HTC senior manager of design and innovation Huang Kuo-ching, HTC research and development director Wu Chien-hung, senior manager of design and innovation Huang Hung-yi, manufacturing design department manager Hung Chung-yi, and employee Chen Shih-tsou.
An HTC representative said that “The company expects employees to observe and practice the highest levels of integrity and ethics. Protecting the company’s proprietary and intellectual properties, privacy and security is a core fundamental responsibility of every employee. The company does not condone any violation.”
Leaking company secrets could carry prison sentences of up to 10 years. The indictments top off a year of bad news for HTC, which has struggled with poor sales and executive management.