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Engineer Who Fled Charges of Stealing Chip Technology in US Now Thrives in China

ASML has pressed IP theft allegations against two firms created by ‘flagbearer’ for China’s semiconductor industry

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Illustration: Joseph Gough

Few companies are better positioned to benefit from the crippling shortage of computer chips than ASML Holding NV, a Dutch manufacturer whose equipment plays an integral role in making the world’s most advanced semiconductors.

But four lines tucked halfway into an otherwise upbeat, 281-page annual report from February hinted at a potentially incendiary problem. ASML accused a Beijing-based firm, regarded by Chinese officials as one of the country’s most promising tech ventures, of potentially stealing its trade secrets. Behind the brief disclosure is an extraordinary multiyear tale of intellectual property theft and a broader threat facing the $556 billion semiconductor industry.