HTC: 'Quietly on the rob'
HTC's fall from grace has been spectacular. They went from being a company that looked like they could rival Apple and the iPhone, to failing to maintain any sort of momentum and losing out to Samsung and making loads of duff devices.
And now, in a further blow, a number of the company’s design executives have been arrested for stealing trade secrets.
Among those nicked were Justin Huang, a senior manager of the design team and responsible for creating the HTC One. He was joined by Thomas Chien (vice president of Product Design) and Wu Chien Hung (director of the company’s R&D division).
It seems that Huang, Chien and Wu were going to use these trade secrets to set up a rival mobile company aimed at Chinese consumers, via a company called Xiaoyu. They were going to resign from HTC after collecting their mid-year bonuses.
HTC chair, Cher Wang, didn't mess about getting in touch with the police with regards to the stolen information, as well as charges that the executives made-up a load of transactions between May and July in order to gain commission fees totalling NT$10 million (which is around £215,000).
While most of the suspects have been allowed bail, prosecutors have decided to detain Wu Chien Hung and Thomas Chien. Of course, this has seen HTC’s share price falling further, with their stock price at an eight year low.
HTC have released a statement, saying: "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."