Chinese employees stole corporate secrets from ASML: Dutch newspaper FD

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AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Chinese employees stole corporate secrets from Dutch semiconductor equipment maker ASML, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in losses, Dutch financial newspaper Financieele Dagblad (FD) reported on Thursday.

ASML Holding logo is seen at company’s headquarters in Eindhoven, Netherlands, Januari 23, 2019. REUTERS/Eva Plevier

The paper said, citing its own investigation, technology had been stolen by high-level Chinese employees in the research and development department of ASML’s U.S. subsidiary and ultimately leaked to a company linked to the Chinese government.

But ASML itself “found no hard proof of involvement of the Chinese government,” the FD reported.

An ASML spokeswoman told Reuters the company was aware of the FD report and was preparing a response.

ASML is the dominant maker of lithography systems, used to trace out the circuitry of semiconductor chips.

The newspaper based its report partly on company sources and partly on a November 2018 ruling by a California court in a suit between ASML’s U.S. subsidiary and a subsidiary of a Chinese company, XTAL Inc.

The documents from the Santa Clara, California Superior Court show six former ASML employees, all with Chinese names, breached their employment contract by sharing information on ASML software processes with