UMC HQ raided in China investment probe

Foundry chiefs' homes searched too

Officials from Taiwan's Ministry of Justice (MoJ) have raided the homes of key UMC staffers as part of an investigation into investments made by the chip foundry in China.

Investigators also entered UMC's HQ and took away a number of documents.

The raids, reported by Chinese-language newspaper the United Daily News (UDN) this morning, were prompted by claims that UMC's, the world's second largest semiconductor foundry, may have invested in one or more Chinese companies without first winning the Taiwanese government's thumbs-up.

Taiwanese law forbids local businesses from expanding into mainland China without the approval of the island's administration. Local firms must also declare any investments they make in Chinese companies.

While the MoJ has confirmed the existence of the investigation and the raids, it has so far refused to provide details of UMC's alleged transgression.

UDN sources, however, claim that UMC vice-chairman John Hsuan was one of those whose homes were raided. Documents filed by UMC with the Taiwanese Stock Exchange suggest the case may centre on an investment UMC is alleged to have made in a Chinese company called Hejian Technology. Both firms deny such a relationship exists between them. ®

Related stories

UMC Q4 income plummets on inventory adjustments
SMIC coughs $175m to settle espionage allegations
Toxic gas leak at TSMC fab hospitalises 21
TSMC Q4 decline mirrors chip market
iSuppli cuts 2005 chip sales growth target
Chips are down for Taiwan foundry giants

Sponsored: Designing and building an open ITOA architecture