Taiwan proposes tightening law to prevent China stealing technology

A Taiwanese flag flies in the wind in Taoyuan, Taiwan, June 30, 2021. REUTERS / Ann Wang / File Photo

Taipei, September 29 (Reuters) – Taiwan’s government on Wednesday proposed tightening a law to prevent China from stealing key technology.

Taiwan is home to a thriving and world-leading semiconductor industry, used everywhere from fighter jets to automobiles, and the government has long been concerned about Chinese efforts to copy that success, including through industrial espionage, talent recruitment, and other methods.

Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council said it would propose a revision of an existing China Relations Act requiring people who receive government funding for certain technologies to obtain approval before going to China.

Fines of up to T $ 10 million (US $ 360,555) would be imposed on those who break the law.

Failing to specify what “national core technology” is or how the government defines “certain subsidies” provided by them, the council said it would seek help from the technology department and keep changing regulations.

A senior Taiwanese government official familiar with the matter told Reuters last month the revision was designed to protect the island’s advanced chip manufacturing technology, which industry experts say is generations ahead of China’s.

Taiwan’s parliament has to pass the revisions.

Four MPs from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party proposed In April Amending the Trade Secrets Act to widen the scope of the act of secrecy and increase penalties.

Taiwan blames China for most of the industrial espionage by foreign forces exposed in recent years.

Taiwan is particularly concerned about China’s attempts to boost its semiconductor industry by “poaching” Taiwanese talent.

($ 1 = 27.7350 Taiwan dollars)

Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Yimou Lee; Adaptation by Angus MacSwan

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