Chinese microchip company boss accused of spying and stealing trade secrets

The company’s status has made it a key weapon in US efforts to deal with the rise of Chinese tech companies. ASML has been prevented from selling its machines directly to Chinese companies because the machines rely on American-made software.

Without the company’s machines, China is forced to rely on older technology and is struggling to catch up.

ASML revealed its dispute with Dongfang in its annual report, which linked the company to Xtal, a defunct Silicon Valley company also founded by Mr. Yu in 2014.

Legal filings uncovered by Bloomberg showed ASML successfully sued the US organization in 2018, which caused it to go bankrupt when it failed to pay an $845million (£673million) bill.

By that time, however, Mr. Yu had moved to Beijing. “It’s a conspiracy to procure technology for the Chinese government,” ASML told the California court. The court had heard that Dongfang and Xtel recruited several engineers from ASML, one of whom stole about 2 million lines of code from the company.

The lawsuit related to a technology known as optical proximity correction, software that allows for more accurate circuit printing.

US officials have accused China of a pattern of illegally acquiring microchip technology from Western companies. The country’s foreign ministry told Bloomberg, “China has not achieved its technological achievements by stealing or robbing others.”

The claims come as the UK’s Chinese-backed takeover of Newport Wafer Fab, Britain’s largest microchip factory, comes under scrutiny. Nexperia, owned by China’s Wingtech, could be forced to sell the company if it’s seen as a national security issue. Chinese microchip company boss accused of spying and stealing trade secrets

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