China stealing secrets from US semiconductor companies. (Allegedly)

VirtualLarry

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Aug 25, 2001
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https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/22/technology/china-micron-chips-theft.html

Hey, Chinese philosophy, if you can't beat em, steal em. At least that's been their M.O. for years, when it comes to tech.

Edit: And my apologies to the Mods, if this is not the appropriate forum for this thread. Just that CPUs and Overclocking has a long history of posting financial and other news articles of interest to CPU and other semi-con vendors.
 
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chrisjames61

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Dec 31, 2013
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https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/22/technology/china-micron-chips-theft.html

Hey, Chinese philosophy, if you can't beat em, steal em. At least that's been their M.O. for years, when it comes to tech.

Edit: And my apologies to the Mods, if this is not the appropriate forum for this thread. Just that CPUs and Overclocking has a long history of posting financial and other news articles of interest to CPU and other semi-con vendors.

I work at a small custom engineering firm with about a thousand employees. The Chinese are constantly hacking our network.
 

whm1974

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Jul 24, 2016
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I'm not surprised at all if this true, in addition to the Chinese, The Japanese have been long accuse of doing this as well.
 

Hitman928

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Glad this stuff is finally coming to light more for the general public. It's a really big problem for semiconductor companies. Asian companies recycling old chips as new is another big problem. I worked with the USAF on a program trying to find a way to protect against this as the AF had linked some electrical failures in some of their vehicles to recycled chips which were sold as new.
 

whm1974

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Glad this stuff is finally coming to light more for the general public. It's a really big problem for semiconductor companies. Asian companies recycling old chips as new is another big problem. I worked with the USAF on a program trying to find a way to protect against this as the AF had linked some electrical failures in some of their vehicles to recycled chips which were sold as new.
Maybe the best solution is to simply quit buying chips from the Chinese and other countries that are known to do this?
 

beginner99

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Jun 2, 2009
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And is this really surprising?

A common "meme" is kind of we should be scared of China and Asia in overtaking the west because they are so hard-working. I always counter that working hard doesn't mean your outcome will better compared to working smart. The actual design / creative stuff even in tech is still mostly coming from the west albeit it's manufactured in Asia mostly. Most of the recent game changing inventions where made in US (note I'm not American so just stating facts) or west. What comes to mind is the internet (started in US) and made more public accessible by html (europe). Mobile Phones (US, 70ties), Smartphone (US, 2000s), modern EV (tesla roadster, US),...
 
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ksec

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I am still waiting for their DDR4. Which Anandtech reported earlier and I said those news were fake. Turns out the company issued it when they only had less then 10% yield. ( The yield part was never in the story ) A little hard to judge whether that is fake news or not.

After all the 30 billions poured into Semi Conductor industry, we still haven't seen any fruit of it yet. China is prepared to brute force this problem with another $100B.

On one hand you would want them to succeed because you get cheaper RAM. On the other hand that is handing more power to China.
 
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A fair amount of semiconductor engineers I know who work in the US have been given travel assignments to China. I wouldn't say it's trade secrets being stolen, probably just hiring installation and set up engineers to install the equipment correctly. Nothing goes worse than a semiconductor company trying to install process tools designed by other companies. Every one tries it, every one fails.
 

R0H1T

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I'm not surprised at all if this true, in addition to the Chinese, The Japanese have been long accuse of doing this as well.
Perhaps, but I don't recall anything like this (major IP theft) reported for Japanese firms in the last decade or so. China on the other hand steals anything & everything they can get their hands on.
If you want to do business in China you also have to give up your trade secrets to gain access to their markets. It is time western countries make some kind of stand.
You're about 3 decades too late; Nixon's Ping Pong diplomacy sure worked, only for China that is.
 

moinmoin

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Personally, looking beyond this specific clear case, I think complexity of tech is at such a level that tech that's easy to replicate may well be considered commodity and tech that comes with huge prerequisites like specific working fab tech is complex enough to not easily be stolen as is. The real issue in my opinion is the huge reliance on China for producing or at least assembling much of modern tech. Hard to do business with them at that degree while pretending one can keep full control of potential negative aspects like IP theft (but also working conditions etc. pp.).
 

bononos

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Aug 21, 2011
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If you want to do business in China you also have to give up your trade secrets to gain access to their markets. It is time western countries make some kind of stand.
To be fair, the US also insists on some poking around because of national security. And theres alot of CIA 'research' (black and grey) that gets funneled back to big American corporations.
 

Abwx

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Apr 2, 2011
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I'm not surprised at all if this true, in addition to the Chinese, The Japanese have been long accuse of doing this as well.
In 1987 Japan was so ahead in semiconductor industry that the US forced them to share their manufacturing secret with US firms, with Intel, Motorola and TI among other beneficiary recipients...
 
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Hitman928

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Maybe the best solution is to simply quit buying chips from the Chinese and other countries that are known to do this?
Wish it were that easy. Unfortunately the only source of certain components go through these countries at some point, for packaging or established distribution channels or whatever it may be. Trust me, they would love to source everything that was only ever designed/fabricated/packaged/distributed within the US but that is just not possible and actually becoming more difficult as time has gone on. Perhaps recent political changes with make it easier in the future, we'll see.
 

Hitman928

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In 1987 Japan was so ahead in semiconductor industry that the US forced them to share their manufacturing secret with US firms, with Intel, Motorola and TI among other beneficiary recipients...
It's been a long time since I reviewed the 1986 US-Japan Semiconductor agreement, but that's not quite how I remember it. From what I remember, it wasn't so much that Japan was ahead technology wise, but that the Japanese companies basically decided to initiate a price war, even selling chips at a loss, to force the US companies out of business. I believe it also was mostly about memory and storage technology which at the time was a much bigger piece of driving technology forward than it is today. The agreement basically set a price floor so that companies couldn't sell chips below a certain price point so as to not drive others out of business. There was also some mechanisms for increasing US company market share in Japan as a sort of recompense for the alleged price war.

While the wisdom of the agreement and it's overall effect are certainly up for debate (many say it actually helped the Japanese companies more long term), I don't think it had to do with Japan having more advanced tech than the US, but rather the alleged market manipulations being carried out by the Japanese companies. That's how I remember it anyway.
 

ksec

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Perhaps, but I don't recall anything like this (major IP theft) reported for Japanese firms in the last decade or so. China on the other hand steals anything & everything they can get their hands on.
That is because they copied and learn a lot already, and then they started to innovate and actually compete. I think copied would be a more accurate word for the Japanese. For Chinese it is real "steal"
 

maddie

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Jul 18, 2010
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Reading this thread made me think of this topic.

Human nature is the same in all countries. There are many articles on this.

https://www.pri.org/stories/2014-02-18/us-complains-other-nations-are-stealing-us-technology-america-has-history

"In 1787, American agent Andrew Mitchell was intercepted by British authorities as he was trying to smuggle new technology out of the UK.

His trunk was seized after being loaded on board a ship. Inside the trunk were models and drawings of one Britain's great industrial machines.

Mitchell himself was able to escape and sought refuge in Denmark. But his mission marks the start of a sustained US campaign to steal technology from the world's hi-tech superpower of the day."
 

whm1974

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Every culture has engaged in technological "borrowing" from other cultures. The smart ones add to this instead of just copying.
 
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R0H1T

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Reading this thread made me think of this topic.

Human nature is the same in all countries. There are many articles on this.

https://www.pri.org/stories/2014-02-18/us-complains-other-nations-are-stealing-us-technology-america-has-history

"In 1787, American agent Andrew Mitchell was intercepted by British authorities as he was trying to smuggle new technology out of the UK.

His trunk was seized after being loaded on board a ship. Inside the trunk were models and drawings of one Britain's great industrial machines.

Mitchell himself was able to escape and sought refuge in D ofenmark. But his mission marks the start of a sustained US campaign to steal technology from the world's hi-tech superpower of the day."
Yes they are, but in today's world why would anyone take a submarine & race to the bottom of nowhere? People love to blame the US for lots of ills in today's world. some rightly so. But when they've had a chance to effect a (positive) change other nations inadvertently take the lesser path & do the same stuff they've accused the US of doing. Especially China, the commentary in their newspapers & official (or unofficial) news media is nauseating. They think of themselves as the next superpower & yet act like thugs or petty thieves!

I'm not defending the US, just highlighting the Chinese hypocrisy.
 

Jimzz

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Oct 23, 2012
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In 1987 Japan was so ahead in semiconductor industry that the US forced them to share their manufacturing secret with US firms, with Intel, Motorola and TI among other beneficiary recipients...
Completely false and not even close to what happened.

The 1986 Semiconductor Agreement was meant to counter alleged dumping and market closure in Japan. Market closure provisions were not fully implemented. The antidumping part was via a price floor. The price floor ignored the learning-curve in the industry and so it did more harm to US industrial interests than it did to Japanese industrial interests. The price floor guaranteed above-normal profits to memory producers of which Japanese firms accounted for about 90%. The price floor did not apply to Japan, so it gave Japanese chip users an advantage by raising the costs of non-Japanese rivals.
 

chrisjames61

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Dec 31, 2013
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Quite frankly, no, not really. I'm not that stupid.
Ram would be cheaper until they drove all the other manufacturers out of business.


In 1987 Japan was so ahead in semiconductor industry that the US forced them to share their manufacturing secret with US firms, with Intel, Motorola and TI among other beneficiary recipients...
You have no idea what you are talking about.
 

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