A TRIO of top HTC bosses have been arrested on suspicion of fraud and stealing trade secrets from the firm, news which has sent the firm's stock price plunging.
Taipei prosecutors confirmed the news to Reuters, saying that HTC VP of product design Thomas Chien, research and development director Wu Chien-Hung and senior manager of design and innovation Justin Huang were arrested on Friday following complaints filed by the company last month.
HTC has accused the three managers of "leaking trade secrets", with the trio of employees reportedly planning to use stolen user interface technology to set up a new mobile design company in China. The three HTC employees were also accused of making false commission fee claims that totaled around T$10 million, or $334,200.
According to the prosecutors, Chien and Chien-Hung remain in custody, while Huang was released on bail.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the Taiwanese firm said, "The company expects employees to observe and practice the highest levels of integrity and ethics. Protecting the company's proprietary and intellectual properties, privacy and security is a core fundamental responsibility of every employee. The company does not condone any violation.
"As this matter is currently under investigation by the relevant authorities, we therefore refrain from further comments."
Despite HTC saying that it was unable to comment further on the investigation, it said in a stock exchange filing on Monday, "the company has sufficient resources in our design team and this situation will not impact the company's operations, product portfolio plans and our overall business performance."
Subsequently HTC saw its share price plunge 6.4 percent on news of the investigation. µ
Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ