UMC asks for charges in Chinese chip investment case

Taiwanese chip maker UMC has asked prosecutors to speed up their case against the company.

Taiwan's United Microelectronics (UMC), the world's second largest contract chip maker, placed front page statements in two of the island's top daily newspapers Wednesday, asking government prosecutors to speed up their case against the company.

Titled "A request to the Hsinchu District Prosecutors office to move quickly in bringing charges against UMC Chairman Robert Tsao," the statement said Tsao would resign if found in the wrong by Taiwanese courts.

Tsao would be replaced by Jackson Hu, UMC's chief executive officer, according to the statement.

In Taiwan, the chairman is responsible for any company wrongdoing, and normally the first to be questioned and jailed over infractions.

UMC has been in the public spotlight ever since Taiwanese prosecutors searched its offices in mid-February for evidence the chip maker had illegally invested in or transferred technology to Chinese foundry He Jian Technology (Suzhou) Co. Ltd.

Taiwan carefully controls semiconductor investments by its companies in political rival China. The two separated in 1949 amid civil war, and Beijing has threatened to attack the island if it moves towards independence.

UMC has maintained its innocence throughout the investigation.

In the statement, UMC also asked prosecutors to allow Hsu Jian Hwa, chairman of He Jian, to leave the island. The Taiwan national, along with around 20 other Taiwanese employees of He Jian, have been under orders to remain on the island pending the results of the investigation. Many of the workers had returned to Taiwan for an important holiday in mid-February, and were apprehended at that time.

A sticking point to the investigation has been an offer by He Jian to give a 15 percent stake to UMC in return for helping guide its chip operations. Prosecutors cried foul over the proposal, but UMC said it has never crossed the line by actually investing funds or transferring technology to the Chinese company.

Tsao has said it may not be possible under Taiwan law for UMC to take the 15 percent He Jian stake, and has looked into the possibility of having a subsidiary, UMC-Japan, accept the offer instead.

UMC has not yet applied to Taiwanese regulators for the He Jian stake, said Alex Hinnawi, a spokesman for UMC.

"We are waiting for administrative guidance from [the government] on how to file for permission," he said.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Dan Nystedt

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?