HTC's exiting designers interrogated for expense fraud and stealing trade secrets

HTC's top designers arrested, accused of stealing trade secrets for new company

Earlier today, several top designers at HTC were arrested in Taipei under suspicion of fraudulent expense claims, as well as stealing trade secrets ahead of leaving the company to run a new mobile design firm in both Taiwan and mainland China. Five people were interrogated, with the most notable ones being Vice President of Product Design Thomas Chien (pictured above), R&D director Wu Chien Hung and design team senior manager Justin Huang (who also personally sketched out the One’s design). Their offices were also raided yesterday.

Reports say HTC chairwoman Cher Wang personally filed a complaint to Taiwan’s Investigation Bureau, which has since learned that Chien, Wu and Huang planned to set up a new design company aimed at the mainland Chinese market, and that they would resign after claiming their mid-year bonuses yesterday. The real beef HTC has here is that it apparently caught Chien secretly downloading files related to the upcoming Sense 6.0 UI design, and then bizarrely enough, shared them with external contacts via e-mail.

The trio is also accused of making false commission fee claims for the One’s aluminum chassis design. While the design was done in-house, the three designers partnered with an external …read more

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