Taiwan: U.S. trade war pushing China to steal tech and talent

The China-U.S. trade war is pushing Beijing to step up its efforts to steal technology and poach talent from Taiwan to boost China’s semiconductor industry’s self-sufficiency, the government of the tech-powerhouse island said on Wednesday.

Speaking at a parliamentary committee meeting on how to respond to the “red supply chain” – a reference to the colour of China’s ruling Communist Party – Taiwan Economy Minister Wang Mei-hua said the trade war had created new risks.

“Affected by the U.S.-China technology war, the development of mainland China’s semiconductor industry has been obstructed, but they are still committed to the industry’s development,” she said.

“In order to achieve self-sufficiency in the supply chain, poaching and infiltration are the quickest way for mainland China to do this,” Wang added.

Hu Mu-yuan, deputy head of Taiwan’s National Security Bureau, said that China’s efforts not only threaten Taiwan, but also Japan and South Korea, threatening global trade and fair competition, adding that “the Chinese are stealing the intellectual property of other countries to consolidate their power.”

Taiwan has strict laws to try to prevent this from happening, but officials have warned China not to try to circumvent it by setting up “front companies” on the island, using Taiwan researchers and other methods.

“Preventing Taiwan’s key technology and high-tech employees from penetrating the” red supply chain “has become an important goal to safeguard the competitiveness of our industry and ensure our economic security,” said Hu Mu-yuan.