A Roaring Spy Business In Taiwan

As competition gets rougher, industrial espionage picks up

When managers at Nan Ya Technology, a Taiwanese memory-chip maker, decided to develop complex DRAM designs without a major foreign partner, they knew they'd need consulting help. So they hired chip designers in the U.S. and South Korea. Fair enough. But now, the Korean government says these consultants--all former Samsung Co. and Lucky Goldstar engineers--stole high-tech secrets from their former employers and sold them to the Taiwanese. Prosecutors have arrested 16 engineers and charged them with corporate spying. These engineers, now in jail in Korea, have not entered their pleas. And Nan Ya executives deny any knowledge of a deal to steal secrets.

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