November 3, 2018 / 10:00 AM / 17 days ago

Chinese chip firm Fujian Jinhua denies stealing IP from Micron

FILE PHOTO: Memory chip parts of U.S. memory chip maker Micron Technology are pictured at their booth at an industrial fair in Frankfurt, Germany, July 14, 2015. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/File Photo

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Chinese chipmaker Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co Ltd said on Saturday it has not stolen any technology, after the U.S. Justice Department indicted the state-back firm for stealing trade secrets.

The U.S. Justice Department on Thursday indicted Fujian Jinhua, Taiwan’s United Microelectronics Corp and three individuals for conspiring to steal trade secrets from U.S. semiconductor company Micron Technology Inc relating to its research and development of memory storage devices.

Earlier in the week, U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration took action to cut Fujian Jinhua off from U.S. suppliers.

“Behaviour to steal another firm’s technology does not exist,” Fujian Jinhua said in a statement posted on its official website.

“Micron regards the development of Fujian Jinhua as a threat and adopts various means to hamper and destroy the development of Fujian Jinhua,” the statement said.

The company “always attaches great importance to the protection of intellectual property rights,” Fujian Jinhua added.

The move to block Fujian Jinhua escalated what until now had been a business dispute into the realm of an international trade conflict between the United States and China.

The world’s top two economies are already waging a tariff war over their trade disputes, with U.S. duties in place on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods and Chinese duties on $110 billion of U.S. goods.

The U.S. moves could seriously damage the ambitions of Fujian Jinhua, a firm of strategic importance to China.

Reporting by Adam Jourdan; Writing by Engen Tham; Editing by Jacqueline Wong

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