Taiwan raided as many as ten Chinese semiconductor companies as a three-way chip war between China, Taiwan and the US worsened. The Chinese firms targeted were accused of illegally poaching chip engineers and people with key skill sets, Reuters reported.
The extensive raids happened this week in capital Taipei and the country's semiconductor hub, Hsinchu, the report said, citing Taiwan's Investigation Bureau. The Chinese companies targeted were not named.
Poaching of Chip Talent
"The illegal poaching of Taiwan's high-tech talent by Chinese companies has badly impacted our international competitiveness and endangered our national security," the bureau said in a statement.
Chinese authorities have not yet responded to the development.
The raid was conducted in mostly the research and development centers of the Chinese chip makers, the report said, adding that prior approval was taken before the action. The report said some 70 people have been called for questioning after the crackdown.
Chinese chipmakers and companies engaged in research on integrated circuit design have been accused of stealing Taiwanese talent.
100 Chinese Firms on List
It was reported last month that China had made a list of nearly 100 Chinese companies that are suspected of illegally poaching engineers and that investigation was going on.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) said last year it will spend a whopping $100 billion to expand its chip fabrication capacity. The investment will be made in the span of the next three years, the company added even as a high-stakes 'semiconductor war' is looming.
That announcement had come a month after China unveiled plans to boost the firepower of its all-important chipmaker SMIC. China's Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp said it will build a $2.35 billion plant with funding from the provincial government of Shenzhen.
Under Taiwan law Chinese investment is banned in chip design and other key areas in the semiconductor supply chain. In March this year, Taiwan had flagged Chinese Communist Party's 'illegal activities of talent-poaching and secret-stealing' even as it raided eight Chinese firms.