Taiwan Tries to Stop China from Luring Its Chip Engineers

Taiwan’s Investigation Bureau raided the offices of ten Chinese companies suspected of illegally poaching chip engineers and other tech talent in an effort to protect its dominance in chipmaking against China.

Taiwan accounts for the majority of the world’s most advanced semiconductor manufacturing capacity. The government has started a campaign to protect the industry from what it calls illegal poaching of chip expertise by Chinese companies.

The bureau said it raided the offices or R&D centers of 10 Chinese companies that operate in Taiwan without approval. Nearly 70 people have been summoned for questioning in a joint crackdown across several cities including the capital Taipei and the island’s semiconductor hub, Hsinchu.

The illegal poaching by Chinese companies of Taiwan’s tech talent has damaged the island’s international competitiveness and threatened national security, according to a bureau statement.

It said technology is at utmost importance for Taiwan’s security and urged the people to stay alert for such activities from China.

The bureau did not reveal the companies currently being investigated, but said they included integrated circuit design firms and electronics parts makers.

Last month, the Investigation Bureau stated that it had launched investigations into around 100 Chinese companies suspected of illegally poaching technology talents.

China has been trying to become self-reliant in advanced chip technology, especially since economic relations with the United States have been increasingly tense.

Taiwanese law prohibits Chinese investment in some parts of the semiconductor supply chain, including chip design, and requires reviews for other areas such as chip packaging, making it very difficult for Chinese chip companies to operate on the island legally.

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