The Korea Herald

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7 indicted on suspicion of valuable technology leak

By Yim Hyun-su

Published : June 27, 2018 - 18:11

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Seven people including a Chinese woman and a researcher have been indicted on suspicion of attempting to leak valuable industrial technology to China.

The seven people with different backgrounds are awaiting trial on charges of attempted technology leakage to a Chinese competitor. They include a 36-year-old ex-researcher surnamed Kwon and a 30-year-old Chinese woman surnamed Lee, who works for a Chinese company.

The case marks the first time a foreign national has been indicted in South Korea on charges related to technology leakage.

(Yonhap) (Yonhap)
The prosecution said it foiled the operation and prevented the display technology from being leaked.

Kwon and three of his colleagues are accused of trying to leak over 5,000 confidential files containing information on organic light-emitting diode technology to a Chinese rival while working at one of Samsung Display’s subcontractors between last August and February.

Lee allegedly lured Kwon into the criminal act by promising an annual salary of 200 million won ($179,000) to the South Korean researcher, nearly three times higher than Kwon previously earned.

Kwon and his accomplices were caught before fleeing to China in May, while Lee was captured at an airport after flying in from China.

South Korea is one of the largest OLED panel suppliers in the world. Against this backdrop, the Trade Ministry categorized OLED technology as an “industrial technology,” which means those caught leaking it could face up to 15 years in jail or fines of 150 million won under the Protection of Industrial Technology Act.

By Yim Hyun-su (hyunsu@heraldcorp.com)