The Taiwan Attorney General’s Office has charged Bitmain Technologies with unlawfully stealing over 100 Taiwanese engineers.
According to Nikkei Asia Report, an investigation has already been launched in New Taipei and Hsinchu, Taiwan’s semiconductor manufacturing center, to investigate the Chinese chipmaker’s cryptocurrency operations.
The new Taipei attorney general’s office says that as part of the poaching business, the Bitcoin maker (BTC) allegedly created shell companies that were used for illegal recruitment, adding:
“We found that Bitmain was hunting Taiwanese R&D professionals to accelerate the fight against AI chip capabilities by illegally establishing companies in Taiwan. The newly formed companies served the purpose of the headhunt, and the time period of what Bitmain was doing goes back to 2018.”
The move by Taiwan officials comes as Beijing is reportedly increasing its stakes in the chip industry. In fact, semiconductors will be the focus of the NPC from March 12th.
Global chip hunger increased before an economic dispute between China and the United States with US President Joe Biden, who recently called for a comprehensive review of the US semiconductor supply chain.
As Cointelegraph previously reported, the growing demand for the limited supply of semiconductors has resulted in bitcoin miners facing a chip shortage. This situation greatly increased the price of new and used cryptocurrency mining equipment.
Meanwhile, investigations into alleged illegal poaching by Bitmain engineers could revolve around issues such as trade secret leaks and technology theft.
The investigation could also affect Bitmain’s relationship with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the world’s largest chip maker.
With semiconductor technology now at the center of the economic disputes between China and the United States and the apparent deepening of diplomatic ties between Washington and Taipei, TSMC is said to be working with major American technology companies such as Apple.
Reports indicate that TSMC and the iPhone maker are exploring research and development protocols for the next generation of 2nm (2nm) chipsets.