HTC execs arrested on ‘trade secrets’ allegations

Shares dive as three designers detained on suspicion of corporate theft

Tags: HTC CorporationTaiwan
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HTC execs arrested on ‘trade secrets’ allegations The arrests added to a slew of problems for HTC; it has suffered senior exits and infighting as profits fell and smartphone market share dwindled.
By  Stephen McBride Published  September 2, 2013

Three of HTC Corp's research and product design executives were arrested on Friday on charges of leaking proprietary corporate information, leading to a plunge in the Taiwanese electronics maker's stock today, according to a report by Reuters.

HTC vice president of product design Thomas Chien, research and development director Wu Chien-Hung and senior manager of design and innovation Justin Huang are accused of stealing designs for a new interface and planning to use them to establish a new mobile technology business focused on the Chinese market. They are also suspected of making fraudulent claims of commission worth T$10m ($334,200).

HTC first lodged a complaint against the executives last month. Chien and Chien-Hung remain in custody, while Huang was released on bail, according to Taipei prosecutors.

HTC has suffered from disappointing sales and a shrinking share of the smartphone market in the past five years, which has led to in-house disharmony and senior resignations. As of 2.50am GMT today, Reuters reported a 6.4% drop in the company's share price.

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