HTC's Top Designers Accused of Stealing Trade Secrets
Over the weekend, a number of HTC's top designers have been detained in Taipei. They are suspected to have filed fraudulent expense claims, as well as stealing the company's trade secrets for use in a new mobile design company they've set up.
According to Engadget, the most prominent HTC employees accused were the vice president of product design, Thomas Chien (pictured above), R&D director Wu Chien Hung and design team senior manager Justin Huang. Other employees involved have already been released on bail, but Wu and Chien remain in police custody.
The Taipei Times reported that HTC first filed charges against the executives, when HTC noticed that Chien secretly kept and shared files relating to HTC's upcoming HTC Sense 6.0 UI design.
Since then, investigations also revealed expense claims discrepancies regarding the design on the HTC One smartphone. US$344,000 in design fees was found to have been paid to 3rd party design firms for the design of the HTC One through the use of fake receipts, even though the smartphone was designed in-house.
It was also revealed that the executives have opened a mobile design firm in Taiwan and China, registered under the mandarin name "Xiaoyu." However, authorities as well as HTC declined to comment on what was allegedly taken, and what was to be used in the executives' new company, as the matter is still undergoing investigation.