DRAMa: Chinese Vendor Fujian Jinhua Denies Stealing US Firm's Trade Secrets

SkyBill40

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The Chinese have straight up stolen IPs from several companies by corporate espionage, reverse engineering, or a host of other means. Seeing that there's really no prosecutable ground upon which to stand for a company that has had their tech stolen, it's a wonder why many of them continue to do business with the Chinese at all. You'd think it a lesson learned but I guess the opportunity to profit is too great to fully warn them off.

Here is but one news article covering 10 IP theft cases:

https://www.prosperousamerica.org/top_ten_cases_of_chinese_ip_theft
 
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It's China. What these guys don't copy, they flat out steal. Tech companies were stupid as hell to move production there, when there are far less criminally aggressive countries they could have chosen to outsource to. Now they are addicted to the profits from near slave labor wages and are stuck...
 

Christopher1

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Wallyvc17, most stuff today has 'prior artwork' to it. The bulk of software and technical patents should never have been issued because guess what? Yep, people did it 25+ years ago.
Such as the 'sculpted corners on a phone' that was done by a company 40 years ago!
 

s1mon7

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I know it's easy to think of China as the copycat here, but what technologies were exactly stolen here? I mean, Micron is in the business of manufacturing products around industry standards (and seems to do a rather poor job at it too). It's not like they have any critical, creative solutions or IPs in their portfolio. Generally whatever they have, pretty much everyone else has. There are only so many ways you can make a DDR4 or DDR5 package, and let's be realistic here, Micron is not inventing anything there, and it seems like they might be a bit over their heads with what they have. Until any actual details are provided, it seems like a company screaming bloody murder at a new competitor who isn't into price fixing.
 

SkyBill40

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Uhh... did you even click on the link I posted? While it doesn't address the Micron situation specifically, it does address the fact that China has repeatedly stolen IPs and tech from outside companies. To the point of Micron: Unless you are privvy to the specifics of their tech and what their patents are governing them, all we have to go on is what has been stated which is some of it was stolen. If there was no basis for truth, the legal action would not have gone anywhere. You can choose to ignore the ramifications of Micron's IP being stolen and support the Chinese if you wish, but refusing to see and accept the glaring facts of the much bigger picture is highly problematic.

 

fry178

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one thing ive learned when working security/threat assessment for airlines, that most asians will smile at you and say "yes", even if they didn't understand a word.
i doubt we will ever see a Chinese company admitting something like that all.
 

s1mon7

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China is a country. This accusation targets a company that just 5 months ago accused Micron of copying techniques related to their DDR4, SSD and memory used in graphics cards and won the case, leading to Micron being banned from China.
Unless any details are provided, this is pure slander and revenge action by the US government.

We all know that there are many Chinese companies with copycat culture. Presuming that it's always the case just because a company is from China and it will surely fly in the culture of hating on the country it's headquartered in is ridiculous. Jinhua is a major partner of UMC (that apparently was the one stealing Micron's tech on Jinhua's behalf), one of the largest semiconductor fabs in the world, located in Taiwan, larger than Micron, albeit operating on lower profit margins.

Again, I'm not saying they're not guilty, but we simply don't even know what the accusations are, they didn't come with a single specific information, and all we know is that they are retaliatory for Micron being banned for their misdeeds (that we know of and were proven in court), and from what we have so far it seems like it's Micron (and the US govt using political climate to back them up) who are in the wrong here. It seems like they thought it'd be easy to make a "Chinese company" the bad guy here without even providing a single detail, and judging by the headlines and the comments made by people who just saw those headlines and immediately became convinced that it's another case of "China stealing tech", it indeed is.
We should all have a problem with that.
 
Theft of intellectual property is China's life blood for developing anything past noodles and silk. I know someone that was invited to give a presentation there. He kept his documents with him at all times. Finally they invited him to a formal dinner. When he came back to his room he found his briefcase had been moved & opened. Later the Chinese declined to invest in the process he was asked by them to present. And the following year they had a similar process that looked remarkably like his. Yeah, they steal everything they can, and then act surprised when they get caught.
 

SkyBill40

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China is a Communist nation state unless you've forgotten that important aspect. Little, if anything, gets done without being passed through or cleared by the government. There's no debating that as it is a matter of solidly supported fact.

You're making an assertion without any basis of fact by stating that this is a retaliatory action by Micron or by the US government. That's some hasty generalization of the worst possible kind if I've ever seen any. Don't do that. We can speculate all we want, but don't make a statement as fact when it can't be properly supported or validated as such. If you're going with "it seems like" as the general basis to support your claim, you may as well not have said anything at all or instead led with "in my opinion." You talk about retaliatory action being taken by our government, but have you considered that them banning Micron from selling in China isn't a bit of the same? UMC hasn't provided Micron with a copy of the court's decision and hasn't been served with an injunction as of this story which was written on 03 JUL 18. Given that was now several months ago, they may have finally received their documentation:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-07-03/micron-chip-sales-banned-in-china-on-patent-case-rival-umc-says

Besides, if they've already got Micron's tech and are producing it on their own, why allow a competitor from another nation sell there? It just undermines your own industry to a degree. As for this particular case, we're not likely to learn the finite details since it's still being investigated and under a likely gag of litigation. That said, no one, myself included, has made any kind of assertion that ALL businesses from China are shady and acting in a nefarious manner; coincidentally, there's sure a lot of smoke out there which means there are a lot of fires to go with it. Is this another instance where they are proven to have done what has been claimed? I suppose we'll see.

Corporate espionage is nothing new and it's a cutthroat world out there. Business is war, after all. This illustrates it rather clearly.
 

s1mon7

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I was actually protecting the story from generalizations and the narrative that implied that the company is guilty despite the fact that no grounds to the accusations were provided. Most of the comments immediately painted them as another guilty Chinese company without giving it a second thought. In case you didn't notice, the vendor is Chinese and the comment section is suddenly filled with general hate against China sparked by (from what we know) groundless accusations against a company that happens to be Chinese. You brought up lists of Chinese companies stealing IPs into the mix and "supporting the Chinese", which is implying the sort of generalization that you are accusing me of. And in relation to a company that, from all we know, did nothing wrong apart from having an IP dispute with an American vendor who apparently stole their IP in the first place.

I'm not American and I'm not Chinese. I lived in both countries but otherwise, have no bias for or against any of them, and both have their problems. The Chinese government has more control over their companies and occasionally uses them to act shady on its behalf, the US government fights foreign powers to protect their largest moneymakers. There are many cases of American businesses and officials getting away with shady practices too, partially thanks to the most protectionist government in the world, so the "there's no smoke without a fire" argument goes both ways in this case. However, I simply analyzed the information we have without getting political in any way:
Micron was accused of stealing specific IPs and was found guilty. Resulting in Micron being banned in China.
Jinhua was accused of stealing Micron's IPs that were never specified and banned by the US government following the China ban on Micron.

Surely there's much more to it, but with what we have, the more likely conclusion would be that it was a retaliatory action by the US government rather than "A Chinese company copying stuff again", even though we don't know any of that for a fact. But the narrative that another Chinese company is copying stuff is completely groundless in this case, regardless of where the truth is, as so far we (the public) have fewer arguments defending Micron and the US government (which accuses Jinhua) than the other way around, and the only argument supporting that narrative is that it's a Chinese company that was accused of something that Chinese companies tend to do without even providing any specifics. Yet, unless every single comment here was off-topic, the comments section was quick to imply blame for a Chinese company.

As long as the facts emerge, I will be happy regardless of which story turns out to be true, as I honestly choose no sides. The only argument I am making, in the end, is to stop groundless witchhunts. It's really representing the worst of humanity to hate on something based on prejudice while happily implying that some entities are guilty without even seeing any evidence because it appears to fit a scheme or personal beliefs.
 

shrapnel_indie

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China has already made it clear that they want to be the tech superpower and are willing to do whatever it takes to get there... and I do mean whatever it takes. This doesn't help their case. While it's true that we don't know all of the facts, and in the States you are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. You make the point that we don'e see enough evidence at this time to be ready to pronounce guilt... maybe so... but at the same time there is not enough evidence to say that they are innocent either. To be honest, their own government may have had more of a say in what may or may not have happened more so than the company itself.
 

s1mon7

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The way I see it, we don't even see a case against them. They were accused of something by someone they originally accused of something similar. This case struck me as picking sides without having any facts. Especially in a tech community striving to make choices based on solid data, I don't think there should be a place for such bias.

I didn't want to make it political, but China wants to be the tech superpower as much as the US and none of them are known to play fair. The US government also had more say than Micron on the US side, as they were the ones to carry on with the Jinhua ban.. on security grounds. They were banned from the US as a "security threat", but so was everything banned or taxed by the recent US government in the name of pure economic protectionism, including Canadian raw materials. I think it's fair to say that none of those governments are known to play fair and both "could have" acted in bad faith.

There is no point to fuel hostility by implying specifically the other teams' assumed guilt where there's zero evidence for it, on a tech forum, under an article that does not conclude any guilt or even any specific accusations.
 

SkyBill40

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Yes, I did add in a list of Chinese companies that have deliberately and knowingly taken underhanded measures to acquire tech. Does it lead to the perception that Jinhua is guily by association? I suppose so and that's a bit unfair, but it could also be right on the money.



As an American, I don't have any issue whatsoever with saying that there's underhanded behaviors happening on our own soil let alone elsewhere. I wouldn't ever dare poke my nose in the air and try to pass us off as infallible or beyond reproach and that would be hugely disingenuous and inaccurate. As before, business is war; if you're not winning, you're losing. We, just as much as anyone else, are going to do what it takes to win though I would personally like to believe it's done a bit more honestly than what has been discussed to now.

From what I see, Micron filed the suit first and did so in December of last year; UMC and Fujian filed a countersuit in January. Also, TSMC filed a suit last year accusing a Chinese company, HLMC, of similar behaviors to what's happened with Micron. Samsung and SK Hynix have also been targeted in espionage and have suggested that the Chinese government itself may actually be behind it.



Retaliatory? Maybe. Remember: Micron filed the suit first, not the other way around. If there was a retaliatory action, it was taken by Jinhua. As for the rest of what you've stated, it's unsupported conjecture unless you've got something that shows otherwise. While there *seems* to be a pattern here with another Chinese company stealing to advance their own tech, you're right in that we don't know all the facts to say for absolute sure. Personally speaking, I'll say that I wouldn't be surprised if they did steal the tech to advance their own.



Groundless witch hunt? Based on prejudice? Support your claim with factual data and/or referenced links. If it were truly groundless, there wouldn't have been any suits on either side; further, we wouldn't have heard anything about it at all if there wasn't anything in dispute here. And seeing that we'll never get to peek at the legal briefs but only hear the end outcome, we will never fully know the scope of what happened. That doesn't mean that we can't make an educated guess based on a number of proven cases that aren't "coincidence."
 

fry178

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@s1mon7
i doubt china had an iphone clone shortly after iphones were produced, nor do i think they got their current stealth tech/fighters,
because of their "own" R&D.
there is a reason why a lot more ppl have secure briefcases for their documents. (when compared to other equivalent developed countries).
and i dont mean the 3-digit-lock-samsonite-attache type.

how many US/european companies have their products cloned by chinese companies?
just talk to someone in car/truck/airline/medical industry about parts being cloned with lower grade material/manufacturing but have stickers/documentation stating they are genuine.
i mean they are even the biggest producer of most of the chemicals used to make illegal drugs.
almost all of this happens on order of the ruling party, or at least with their knowledge.

so when i look at all those things, chances are pretty high, this DID happen that way (as of now).
 
Actually I said nothing about Micron, I just recounted what happened to someone I know very well and believe 100%. The Chinese stole the process from him so they would not have to pay for it and that is a fact. Sky if you choose to believe or not believe that is up to you, personally I'm not worried about it one way or the other. What is going on between Micron and Fujian I only know what I've read, I don't really have an opinion on it one way or the other. Just relating an experience of someone close that had his process stolen by the Chinese.

 

SkyBill40

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The post you've quoted wasn't directed to you but to the guy above it and who I've interacted with repeatedly in this thread. I didn't have or take any issue with the anecdote you supplied. I think your disagreement is with Simon, not me. It's abundantly clear and through a growing number of cases that Chinese companies are taking dubious methods to steal technologies from businesses.This is evidenced further by what's going on between Micron and Jinhua.

Anything and everything in the cheapest manner to get ahead seems to be their mantra. That's unacceptable though not even remotely surprising.
 
Nov 1, 2018
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It wasn't called stealing when the US multi billion dollar yoga industry started patententing Ancient India Yoga poses. But India is full of crooks for ignoring legitimate US intelectual property rights.

Is IP something something to behave religious over. Or is there a rabbit hole the practice has fallen into.
 

SkyBill40

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Total non sequitur and a straw man argument at that.

A business puts a lot of time, effort, and money into developing intellectual property and are naturally going to take actions to legally protect it both domestically and abroad. Failing to do so is wholly ignorant and just asking for trouble. Using yoga techniques, which were taught by masters in India to others to for the purpose of being shared and practiced, as a premise or means to support your assertion is utterly ridiculous and entirely different than what is going on here.
 
Cool, no worries, I think we agree on this issue.

 

I didn't realize Yoga was that big a deal. I remember my mom doing it over 50 years ago. i though the big craze was all the workout machines, you see them on TV all the time, Yoga books not so much.
 

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