updated 07:20 pm EDT, Mon September 2, 2013
Three men headed to mainland China to start a design firm
Three exiting HTC designers and executives have been arrested in Taiwan, under suspicion of stealing trade secrets related to the HTC One design from the manufacturer. Prosecutors confirmed that HTC vice president of design Thomas Chien, senior manager of design Justin Huang, and development director Wu Chien-Hung were picked up by police. As a result of this and other executive churn in the company, the company's shares fell today over six percent.
Media reports claimed that the executives were using stolen interface design documents to start up a new company "Xiayou," aimed at the Chinese market. The trio was also accused of filing commission fees fraudulently of around $334,200. Huang was released on bail, with Chien and Chien-Hung remaining in custody.
HTC released a statement about the event earlier today, saying that "the company expects employees to observe and practice the highest levels of integrity and ethics. Protecting the company's proprietary and intellectual properties, privacy and security is a core fundamental responsibility of every employee. The company does not compromise nor condone any violation at any level of our organization and the company shall act in accordance to the law. As this matter is currently under investigation by the relevant authorities, we therefore refrain from further comments. In addition, the company has sufficient resources in our design team, and this situation will not impact the company's operations, product portfolio plans and our overall business performance."
The three men arrested have made no comment on the allegations. All three were lead designers on the HTC One phone and other new devices, some yet to be released.