Chinese court sentences three to prison for iPad design leak

The stolen iPad design information was used to make protective cases

A Chinese court sentenced three persons to prison for stealing information on Apple's iPad 2 design, which was used to make protective cases for the device months before the hit tablet was even launched.

The Shenzhen Baoan People's Court ruled this month that the three persons had collaborated to steal trade secrets from Apple supplier, Foxconn, which builds the iPad in factories in China.

The scheme was initiated last July when Xiao Chengsong, the head of a Chinese electronics company, contacted Hou Pengna, a former employee at Foxconn about obtaining information on the iPad 2 design.

Hou then funneled 20,000 yuan (US$3,090) to Lin Kecheng, a section chief with Foxconn's research and development group. In return, Lin provided documents on the iPad 2's casing design. Xiao's company, MacTop Electronics, then used the information to manufacture more than 100 iPad 2 outer protective casings, publicizing the products on the Web.

Xiao was sentenced to 18 months in prison and fined for 150,000 yuan. Lin was sentenced to 14 months, and fined 100,000 yuan, while Hou was sentenced to one year, and fined 30,000 yuan.

Xiao and his company MacTop could not be reached for comment.

Foxconn said in a statement, "We cannot comment on matters of internal security, but Foxconn takes its commitment to protecting its intellectual property as well as that of its customers very seriously and undertakes all appropriate actions to safeguard against any violations."

Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

The Shenzhen Baoan People's Court announced the sentencing on Tuesday, posting the information on its Chinese microblog. The court said that the research and development connected with the stolen trade secret is estimated to be worth 2.06 million yuan.

Listings of iPad 2 protective cases were posted last year on sites operated by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group. But the company later took down the listings after receiving a request to do so.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags CriminalFoxconn ElectronicsApplehardware systemslegaltablet PCslaptops

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?