Samsung Is a Victim of Industrial Espionage as Foldable Screen Tech Sold to China

cageymaru

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Samsung had trade secrets related to its foldable screen technology allegedly stolen by Samsung supplier Toptec who sold it to Chinese rivals for $14 million. Toptec has an affiliate paper company in China that it used to transfer the blueprints of Samsung's "flexible OLED edge panel 3D lamination" to China. Then they used that company to sell the cutting-edge technology to Chinese companies. Samsung invested over $130 million and 6 years to develop the bendable screen technology. Samsung had just teased the technology at a reveal last month.

Samsung's bendable screen had been hyped as a potential game changer. The prosecutors' office insisted that the leakage had caused financial damage, worth 6.5 trillion won in revenue and 1 trillion won in operating profit, to the affiliate of tech giant Samsung Electronics over the past three years.
 

chris7191

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I am not sure why companies continue to trust and do business with Chinese manufacturers/suppliers. Bite the profit bullet and move out or quit complaining.

For electronics, no one else can manufacture like they can now. Plus, you can source all the components locally since they make everything else. At work, we actually get higher quality on the PCBAs produced and assembled in China than our US fab that we use for prototypes. I am sure Samsung would lose more money manufacturing elsewhere than someone getting a head start on bendable screens. As soon as the phones are released they would be reverse engineered anyway.

I actually think manufacturing in China is a pro, not a con. First, electronics mfg is mostly done by robots or heading that way, so limited impact on jobs. Second, producing electronics is a horribly dirty business. You don't want this stuff in your backyard. Let China pollute their own land.
 

chris7191

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Samsung had trade secrets related to its foldable screen technology allegedly stolen by Samsung supplier Toptec who sold it to Chinese rivals for $14 million. Toptec has an affiliate paper company in China that it used to transfer the blueprints of Samsung's "flexible OLED edge panel 3D lamination" to China. Then they used that company to sell the cutting-edge technology to Chinese companies. Samsung invested over $130 million and 6 years to develop the bendable screen technology. Samsung had just teased the technology at a reveal last month.

Samsung's bendable screen had been hyped as a potential game changer. The prosecutors' office insisted that the leakage had caused financial damage, worth 6.5 trillion won in revenue and 1 trillion won in operating profit, to the affiliate of tech giant Samsung Electronics over the past three years.

Bendable screen is going to be a huge flop. I know they claim it won't crease for 100k cycles, but I have yet to see a clear plastic that does not.
 

Etherton

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hated the Chinese

I don't hate the Chinese. In fact I currently own several Huawei devices and their Mate 20 Pro is probably the best phone I ever used. Apple needs to reverse engineer their devices and learn something about battery life. Mine lasted right at 3 days this week - with moderate use. That said, enough is enough... stop Fn stealing everything.
 

Spidey329

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The release of this is interesting when you consider that it was a Chinese company that announced a bendable phone weeks before Samsung.

I'm curious if that's related and maybe what tipped Samsung off to the theft?
 

shansoft

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I don't hate the Chinese. In fact I currently own several Huawei devices and their Mate 20 Pro is probably the best phone I ever used. Apple needs to reverse engineer their devices and learn something about battery life. Mine lasted right at 3 days this week - with moderate use. That said, enough is enough... stop Fn stealing everything.

My iPhone XS Max and HTC U12 last 3 days with light usage. It's about 1% battery every hour or two if left idle.

Hence even lower battery capacity than Huawei....
 

clockdogg

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OTOH... maybe this is exactly what Samsung wants.

Early on they discovered the full Origami phone would be a marketing and technical failure. So...to recoup costs via legal recourse and save face...they allow the defective tech to be 'stolen', manufactured and fail in the marketplace.

Then they move on to their actual profitable screen tech, hyper-speed-bluetooth-enabled OLED contact lenses that only cause small amounts of brain damage. ;-)
 

ChadD

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When the cheap Chinese devices hit the market... guess what. Everyone will whine about how Samsung priced themselves out of the market. lol
 

filip

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OTOH... maybe this is exactly what Samsung wants.

Early on they discovered the full Origami phone would be a marketing and technical failure. So...to recoup costs via legal recourse and save face...they allow the defective tech to be 'stolen', manufactured and fail in the marketplace.

Then they move on to their actual profitable screen tech, hyper-speed-bluetooth-enabled OLED contact lenses that only cause small amounts of brain damage. ;-)

Close it is all a ploy to raise ram prices across the board.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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At some point, you have to wonder when everyone would stop dealing with the Mainland Chinese.

IMHO, we need to get together with our traditonal allies, the free democracies of the world and put on a United front, go all Cuba/Iran style complete embargo on China, and penalize anyone in the world who keeps doing business with them, until they reverde course and agree to respect IP rights.

Yes, this would ptobably result in a short term serious market downturn, but we can't just keep letting them take whatever they want, secure governemnt financing and use it to dump products on the international markets driving the businesses that invented the technology out of business, like they did with solar panels, ultimately keeping the market mostly to themselves.

They could just keep doing this until we have nothing left. Someone needs to be willing to draw a line in the sand.
 

Rob94hawk

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snowcrash

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For electronics, no one else can manufacture like they can now. Plus, you can source all the components locally since they make everything else. At work, we actually get higher quality on the PCBAs produced and assembled in China than our US fab that we use for prototypes. I am sure Samsung would lose more money manufacturing elsewhere than someone getting a head start on bendable screens. As soon as the phones are released they would be reverse engineered anyway.
I actually think manufacturing in China is a pro, not a con. First, electronics mfg is mostly done by robots or heading that way, so limited impact on jobs. Second, producing electronics is a horribly dirty business. You don't want this stuff in your backyard. Let China pollute their own land.
Yep. Necessary evil. I've said it many times. I would never buy an iPhone made here vs one assembled in China. One is done by minimum wage drones who couldn't care less about their job while the other one is literally life and death. Take the Walmart employees and iPad that was in the news for example.
 

Reimu

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I'm pretty sure this is going to eventually lead to a total boycott of China. Like this is a pretty big deal right here, and this is adding to a laundry list of IP theft.

The thing is, China won't really be thinking of that NA or European market, but rather the middle east, SEA, Eastern Europe as well as Africa. The real fight ahead is how would American and European companies fight against the Chinese in those developing countries.
 

chris7191

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IMHO, we need to get together with our traditonal allies, the free democracies of the world and put on a United front, go all Cuba/Iran style complete embargo on China, and penalize anyone in the world who keeps doing business with them, until they reverde course and agree to respect IP rights.

Yes, this would ptobably result in a short term serious market downturn, but we can't just keep letting them take whatever they want, secure governemnt financing and use it to dump products on the international markets driving the businesses that invented the technology out of business, like they did with solar panels, ultimately keeping the market mostly to themselves.

They could just keep doing this until we have nothing left. Someone needs to be willing to draw a line in the sand.

Cat is already out of the bag. They have the skills and IP now to develop their own stuff for the most part. If we put an embargo on China they would probably nationalize TSMC or something, too.
 

Reimu

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Cat is already out of the bag. They have the skills and IP now to develop their own stuff for the most part. If we put an embargo on China they would probably nationalize TSMC or something, too.

TSMC is a Taiwanese company. Most of the tier 1 OEMs that we know are Taiwanese companies (Delta, Foxconn) who have invested heavily in China since the 90s. Let's just say that things going that way quickly turns the topic into a geopolitical crisis.
 
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The thing is, China won't really be thinking of that NA or European market, but rather the middle east, SEA, Eastern Europe as well as Africa. The real fight ahead is how would American and European companies fight against the Chinese in those developing countries.
China is spending Billions in Africa right now and I don't see anyone else even coming close to that any time soon.
 

5150Joker

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Who is surprised? Raise your hands. No one? No one? No one?

Nobody is but you know Samsung does the same thing right? They poached a TSMC lead engineer not long ago and stole their fab secrets. It's not like industrial espionage is something new or limited to China, just look at that Intel employee who tried giving confidential info to Micron recently in the US. Yeah China has a bad track record compared to others on a national level but this seems more a case of industrial espionage than one involving China directly.
 

Reimu

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China is spending Billions in Africa right now and I don't see anyone else even coming close to that any time soon.
And that's the issue. Belt and road initiative is seriously undermining American hegemony, and the Chinese wants to make RMB into the African reserve currency by proxy at that.
 

5150Joker

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And that's the issue. Belt and road initiative is seriously undermining American hegemony, and the Chinese wants to make RMB into the African reserve currency by proxy at that.

Yeah Pakistan was already snug with China before but after Trump gave them the finger (they were being dishonest so he wasn't completely wrong), China lured them in even further with the belt & road initiative by pouring something like $45 billion in development in Pakistan. So lures like that will get all these little developing nations in the arms of an ever expanding China and in Pakistan's case, it's a nuclear power that serves as an important hub for American interests in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

My money is on Afghanistan welcoming the Chinese with open arms to mine their trillion dollar worth of minerals which would be epic considering how much money America wasted on a war there.
 

[Spectre]

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Nobody is but you know Samsung does the same thing right? They poached a TSMC lead engineer not long ago and stole their fab secrets. It's not like industrial espionage is something new or limited to China, just look at that Intel employee who tried giving confidential info to Micron recently in the US. Yeah China has a bad track record compared to others on a national level but this seems more a case of industrial espionage than one involving China directly.

I'm sure that rises to the level of China's actions on any random Wednesday. And if you can't figure that out..............
 

cdr_74_premium

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I don't hate the Chinese. In fact I currently own several Huawei devices and their Mate 20 Pro is probably the best phone I ever used. Apple needs to reverse engineer their devices and learn something about battery life. Mine lasted right at 3 days this week - with moderate use. That said, enough is enough... stop Fn stealing everything.

I am not talking about you specifically.

But yes, they do lie, cheat and steal, but the margins on those Lenovo laptops are so tasty. That's why those guys I mentioned mock the Chinese - as in regular people they meet that are of Chinese origin or descent - but go out of their way to sell a Chinese-branded computer like it's the best thing money can ever buy. That's the tune for all businessmen dealing with China at the moment, a hypocritical mess of "I hate them" along with "their stuff put money in my pocket, so what?".
 

cdr_74_premium

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Yeah Pakistan was already snug with China before but after Trump gave them the finger (they were being dishonest so he wasn't completely wrong), China lured them in even further with the belt & road initiative by pouring something like $45 billion in development in Pakistan. So lures like that will get all these little developing nations in the arms of an ever expanding China and in Pakistan's case, it's a nuclear power that serves as an important hub for American interests in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

America doesn't give a flying F for developing nations and hasn't done so for a while. If it's not bombing the hell out of it, it doesn't exist for all intents and purposes, except when described as one of the demographics that is completely screwing the US when they decided to illegally move there and bring their poverty, crime, diseases and ugliness. Most of those nations would rather hang out with the US, but there's so much knocking on a door one can do until realizing that you're not invited.

My money is on Afghanistan welcoming the Chinese with open arms to mine their trillion dollar worth of minerals which would be epic considering how much money America wasted on a war there.

Of course they will. Just like Africa, Latin America, and all the ones in desperate need of investment and with tasty natural resources ripe for the taking.
 

sfsuphysics

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Wonder if we'll ever get to a point of stagnation where companies simply say "fuck it, we're not putting any more into R&D if it's going to just get stolen by the Chinese"
 

HockeyJon

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Nobody is but you know Samsung does the same thing right? They poached a TSMC lead engineer not long ago and stole their fab secrets. It's not like industrial espionage is something new or limited to China, just look at that Intel employee who tried giving confidential info to Micron recently in the US. Yeah China has a bad track record compared to others on a national level but this seems more a case of industrial espionage than one involving China directly.

There’s a big difference in how those cases will be prosecuted.
 

cdr_74_premium

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Hey here’s an idea. Why not manufacture your stuff in countries that respect intellectual property law?

Logic and reality is for you, me, and the lemmings.

Big money wants all of the things we're denied, all in the tune of "getting a whole lot of more for a outrageous amount of less." The difference between we and them is that when we do it, we're lazy. When they do it, they're smart.

I would be hoping for the moment it'll all come back to bite them in their fat bottoms, but we all know they'll probably be bailed out and the lemmings will foot the bill - again. All the while being told that we're lazy and should've been more responsible, worked harder, saved more, so on and so forth.
 

nutzo

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My iPhone XS Max and HTC U12 last 3 days with light usage. It's about 1% battery every hour or two if left idle.

Hence even lower battery capacity than Huawei....

Only had my Note 9 for a few days, but so far the battery life is a huge improvement over my Note 4.
I can go an entire day of heavy use, and it still has 30% left. Only a coupe percent drop over night.
My Note 4 would have to be charge mid day or it would be dead by dinner.
 

Joust

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I'm sure that rises to the level of China's actions on any random Wednesday. And if you can't figure that out..............
So the deal is, every major company in China has a state-owned interest. This stuff isn't just corporate spy shens, it's state-sponsored activity and that is far worse, in my opinion.
 

WBurchnall

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I'm pretty sure this is going to eventually lead to a total boycott of China. Like this is a pretty big deal right here, and this is adding to a laundry list of IP theft.
Okay...finish your thought process please. Whereabouts will Samsung manufacture its products once it has boycotted China? Thailand? Taiwan? Korea? Canada? US? Brazil? Which of these countries has the ultra low wage labor, technology and expertise to manufacture all their products? Taiwan might be the only alternative though the ultra low wages don't exist there.
 

WBurchnall

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Wonder if we'll ever get to a point of stagnation where companies simply say "fuck it, we're not putting any more into R&D if it's going to just get stolen by the Chinese"
Likely not. If there was no new hardware for PCs, we'd be able to stick with our current machines until they actually die from old age. I've had computers that still boot perfectly fine and run twenty years of use later. It's just one can buy a smaller form factor of equal power for a quarter of the cost twenty years later. So we upgrade for the better form factor or hardware. Having an upgrade out there increases sales by increasing turn over.

Unless they stop researching and design machines to die after at most a few years of use.
 

Reimu

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Likely not. If there was no new hardware for PCs, we'd be able to stick with our current machines until they actually die from old age. I've had computers that still boot perfectly fine and run twenty years of use later. It's just one can buy a smaller form factor of equal power for a quarter of the cost twenty years later. So we upgrade for the better form factor or hardware. Having an upgrade out there increases sales by increasing turn over.

Unless they stop researching and design machines to die after at most a few years of use.

Please don't get the impression that the Chinese aren't doing R&D. Defense wise, it's well known that they've invested tons into killing satellites and in lasers, and they are definitely working on genetics, material science, cryptography...
Woes to the USA if it thinks that it can just outsource R&D.
 
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