11 executives and employees of Samsung Display indicted for selling data, drawings and equipment of Flexible OLED technology to China through disguised corporate. Samsung Display now occupies 95% of Flexible OLED in global markets.
On 29 Nov, Suwon District Public Prosecutors’ Office announced that three, including the president and product design team lead, were charged for violating the act on Prevention of Divulgence and Protection of Industrial Technology. The remaining eight executives involved in the crime were indicted without detention. Two employees of a Chinese company, alleged accomplices, were on a suspended prosecution.
The defendants colluded with Samsung Display to relinquish industrial and operational secrets including equipment manuals and drawings of Flexible OLED panels received in Apr this year, through a disguised corporate Company B. Part of the data went through to China for a gain of KRW 15.5 billion. By the end of Aug, 16 3D laminating machines were exported and another eight pending delivery.
3D lamination is an important back-end process for manufacturing Edge OLED display panels. It is the essential part to implement the “edge” design. Samsung Display invested KRW 150 billion and 38 engineers on this over the past six years. Under the aforementioned act, it is considered a “national core technology” and “advanced technology”. The said divulgence would enable Chinese display manufacturers to establish production lines ensuring high-quality and immediate mass production with no need of trials and errors validated by Samsung Display.
Toptech made its largest sales and operating profit of KRW 1.14 trillion and 211 billion last year but sales started to slide downhill and resorted to selling 3D laminating technology to Chinese display manufacturers to keep the business afloat.
“The defendants falsified financial reports knowing that the related equipment of Samsung Display would be leaked to China”, said Suwon District Prosecutors. The manufactured equipment was concealed with fake signboards in order to avoid investigative agency from its partners. The prosecutors explained that instead of company e-mail, the personal ones were used.
It was announced by the Suwon District Prosecutors’ Office that the case received co-operation from the National Industrial Security Center of National Intelligence Service. The last eight 3D laminating equipment was confiscated from Busan port right before the export. The government has since started to collect related revenue by requesting for compensation and deposit bonds for all the proceeds from the crime.