American Court Acquits Chinese Fujian Jinhua in Micron Trade Secrets Theft Case

Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co., a Chinese memory chip manufacturer, has successfully proved in court that it didn’t partake in stealing trade secrets of American Micron Technology, a claim made against it by the United States. This was reported by Bloomberg.

Allegations Cleared

Fujian Jinhua was put on the U.S. Commerce Department’s blacklist as a national security threat five years ago, but U.S. District Judge Maxine M. Chesney in San Francisco has now cleared the company of all charges, including economic espionage and other offenses.

Evidence Insufficient

Judge Chesney asserted that the prosecutors failed to prove that Fujian Jinhua illegally took possession of Micron Technology’s developments, supposedly handed to them through a manufacturing deal with Taiwan’s United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC). In 2020, UMC partially acknowledged its guilt in stealing trade secrets and was fined $60 million.

Settlement Reached

In response to the court decision, Micron Technology released a statement indicating that it had reached a global peace agreement with Fujian Jinhua, whereby both parties dropped all claims against each other. Included in this are the civil lawsuits filed by the American company a year before the U.S. Justice Department levied criminal charges against the Chinese state-backed firm. The American company had lodged a lawsuit in 2017 against Fujian Jinhua and its Taiwanese partner UMC for allegedly stealing trade secrets related to memory chip manufacturing.

Implications for Micron Technology

Micron Technology signed the December settlement after the Chinese government prohibited the use of its chips in critical infrastructure due to severe national security risks. According to the American company, about a quarter of its total revenue comes from operations in mainland China and Hong Kong.

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