South Korean prosecutors have indicted nine people on suspicion of selling Samsung technology to a Chinese company without authorisation.
Samsung Display controls over 90% of the small-to-medium sized OLED display panel market, whereas LG.Display controls the OLED TV panel segment. Later the information was sold to a Chinese firm for $13.8 million.
According to prosecutors in the case, Samsung spent six years and 150 billion won to develop the technology that was leaked. Three people out of the 11 have been arrested by the authorities and are now awaiting the trial process.
South Korean prosecutors indicted nine people, including officials of a Samsung Electronics supplier group, for allegedly selling Samsung's latest OLED display technology to Chinese rivals. The defendants are alleged to have established a shell company to conduct their transgressions which sold the drawings and other technical documentation in question for the equivalent of some $13.8 million. Still, the technology leakage that already occurred is likely to have a significant negative impact on South Korea's display industry. That apart, the accused are known to have been using separate phones as well their own personal email addresses to keep their activities under cover. Chinese display manufacturers have been trying to ramp up production of OLED displays for years. The illegal technology transfer occurred between May and August of this year.
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Toptec has grown fast by supplying a large amount of 3D lamination equipment to Samsung Display. Samsung, meanwhile, is expected to show off its pricey take on a foldable smartphone in February at Mobile World Congress and make it first available in March.
Toptec's offices were raided by prosecutors in the Far Eastern country in mid-September as part of an incestigation that led to today's indictments.