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J H Hsu, chairman of Hejian Technology, the China-based chip foundry at the centre of allegations that Taiwanese foundry UMC is in "breach of trust" with the island's government, was yesterday detained by officers from Taiwan's Ministry of Justice (MoJ).

Hsu was subsequently released by the Hsinchu District Court on bail pending the results of further MoJ enquiries, according to a Central News Agency report. Bail was set at TWD10m ($316,910).

The Hejian chairman's detention follows raids by MoJ officials yesterday on UMC's HQ and the homes of key executives carried. UMC is under investigation for allegedly investing in a Chinese company without declaring the matter to the Taiwanese government as local laws demand.

UMC today reiterated in a statement filed with the Taiwan Stock Exchange that neither it nor its executives hold stakes in Hejian. It also said it has not assigned staff to work at the Chinese foundry.

Hsu was said by a Court spokesman to have founded Hejian with others shortly after they all quit their jobs at UMC in 2002, a report in the Chinese-language newspaper the Commercial Times said today. The paper added that Hsu worked at UMC for 16 years. During that time, he ran the foundry's Fab 8AB production facility. ®

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