The South Korean government introduced new measures to strengthen the country’s technology protection since South Korean prosecutors on Dec. 22 indicted four South Koreans suspected of leaking advanced technology to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Among the four Koreans prosecuted, a representative of Korean company A was accused of stealing advanced technology related to semiconductor chips of company B (also a Korean company) from August 2015 to January 2016 before supplying it to company C in China.

The “Hot Zone” design drawing, Company B’s cutting-edge technology, is also the core semiconductor chip manufacturing engineering technology company.
The prosecutor revealed that company C had made about $50 million in operating profit between 2019 and 2020, thanks to this technology. This incident is the latest in a series of cases where the CCP stole Korea’s advanced technology.

South Korea is one of the countries that the CCP mainly targets in recruiting technical talents. The CCP has hired technical talent from South Korea’s Samsung and SK Hynix with more than three times Korea’s annual salary in the semiconductor sector.

In response to the CCP, Korea has launched a “Strategy to protect Korean technology in the context of global technology hegemony competition,” preventing the loss of critical talents in the advanced technology field.

Accordingly, Korea will establish a core talent database by 2023, and strengthen immigration supervision, provided that the talents agree and are required by organizations with core technology.

Furthermore, South Korea will legalize this rule in the future.

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