So much for all that US-China trade truce talk.
Just hours after a presidential tweet expressing optimism about US-China trade talks helped save US stocks from turning red on the first trading day of the month (with an assist from Chinese President Xi Jinping, who later told Chinese media that he would be "willing" to meet with Trump at the G-20 summit later this month), the DOJ has unveiled an indictment filed in California against a Chinese state-owned company and three Taiwanese nationals for allegedly stealing trade secrets from Micron Technologies.
- *U.S. SAYS CHINA STATE-OWNED CO. STOLE MICRON TRADE SECRETS
- *U.S. CRIMINAL COMPLAINT ALSO NAMES THREE TAIWAN NATIONALS
- *UNITED MICROELECTRONICS, FUJIAN JINHUA INDICTED IN U.S.
Allegations about the alleged theft of chip designs from Micron were first detailed in legal documents filed in the US and Taiwan, which were cited by the New York Times in an investigation published back in June detailing China's efforts to acquire by either legitimate - or, failing that, illegitimate - means trade secrets that the Chinese government saw as vital to its Made in China 2025 initiative.
Micron has been the subject of punitive measures, including an investigation in China, one of its biggest foreign markets, since spurning a $23 billion takeover offer from a Chinese company. Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Company, one of the companies facing indictment, was accused by the NYT of being behind the elaborate technology theft, while Taiwan-based UMC reportedly helped Fujian carry out the heist, claims that both companies denied. The indictment will almost certainly escalate tensions between the US and China, which has been enraged by President Trump's demand that the Chinese government roll back its support for initiatives tied to Made in China 2025 as part of any trade-dispute settlement.
The indictment also follows remarks from National Security Advisor John Bolton who said earlier Thursday that the US must withdraw from the INF arms-control treaty to counter the aggression of Russia and China, which he accused of 'taking advantage' of the treaty.