HTC executives arrested on suspicion of stealing company secrets


Three senior members of HTC design team detained following investigation into alleged IP theft

A trio of HTC executives were arrested by Taiwanese investigators on Friday on suspicion of defrauding the troubled manufacturer and stealing valuable company secrets.

HTC vice president of product design Thomas Chien, research and development director Wu Chien-Hung and senior manager of design and innovation Justin Huang were those confirmed to have been arrested.

Huang has been released on bail, but Chien and Chien-Hung remain in custody.

The arrests were sparked by a complaint filed by HTC against the executives to the Ministry of Justice’s Investigation Bureau.

Local reports claim the men planned to use stolen user interface technology to create a new mobile design company.

The three men were also accused of making false commission fee claims totalling around T$10m ($142,000).

In a statement, HTC said: “The matter is under investigation by relevant authorities. We therefore refrain from further comments.”

The manufacturer has seen its market share fall to below 5 per cent compared a quarter five years ago. An internal review last month led to some “painful” results, according to HTC VP of marketing for EMEA Martin Kang. But the company is hoping to improve its performance through an expensive advertising campaign fronted by Hollywood star Robert Downey Jr.