Former SK Hynix Employee Accused of Stealing Semiconductor Tech for Huawei | Be Korea-savvy

Former SK Hynix Employee Accused of Stealing Semiconductor Tech for Huawei

SK hynix plant in Icheon

SK hynix plant in Icheon

SUWON, May 28 (Korea Bizwire) –A former Chinese employee of SK Hynix has been arrested and indicted on charges of illegally transferring the company’s core technology for reducing semiconductor defects to Huawei, the Chinese tech giant, prosecutors said on May 28.

The 30-year-old woman, identified only by her last name A, worked at SK Hynix’s plant in Icheon, South Korea, from 2013 until recently, most of that time analyzing design flaws that cause semiconductor failures, according to the Gyeonggi Nambu Provincial Police Agency’s industrial technology security investigation unit.

In 2020, A took a position at SK Hynix’s Chinese subsidiary overseeing customer relations until returning to South Korea in June 2022. The same month, she resigned to take a higher-paying job at Huawei, prosecutors said.

But just before leaving SK Hynix, A allegedly printed out some 3,000 pages of confidential documents detailing solutions to key semiconductor manufacturing issues, violating stringent data security protocols at the company that restrict use of removable storage and closely monitor printing activities.

While records showed A had printed the documents, there was no logged explanation for what they were used for, raising suspicions she smuggled the sensitive materials out in bags, according to investigators. A has denied the allegations.

Shortly after SK Hynix reported suspicious activity, police tracked A’s moves through circumstantial evidence and arrested her upon arrival at a South Korean airport last month, prosecutors said.

The alleged theft comes as Huawei has doubled down on advancing its semiconductor capabilities with support from the Chinese government, including $948 million in funding last year as Beijing prioritizes self-sufficiency in core technologies.

A is currently on trial at the Yeoju branch of the Suwon District Court. The precise charges were not specified.

Ashley Song (

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