Group indicted for leaking Samsung OLED tech to China

Prosecutors have indicted employees of a Samsung vendor that allegedly leaked the South Korean tech giant's OLED edge panel technology to China.

flexible-samsung-oled.png
(Image: Samsung)

South Korean prosecutors have indicted a group that allegedly leaked Samsung's technology in OLED edge panels to China.

The Suwon Prosecutor's Office indicted 11 people who worked at a company that allegedly produced automated equipment to create mobile panels for leaking Samsung Display's technology on 3D Lamination in OLED edge panels. Three out of the 11, including the company's CEO, have been arrested and are awaiting trial.

Two others who were also allegedly complicit in leaking the technology, but worked for a separate Chinese company, were not indicted.

The group allegedly formed a separate shell company that received information of the use equipment and drawings of the panels, which they accessed from working with Samsung. They then sold the documents in China, earning 15.5 billion won ($13.8 million).

The group used secondary names, phones, and personal email addresses to avoid detection, the office said.

The leaked technology created by Samsung Display required six years to develop, a team of 38 engineers, and investment of 150 billion won, the prosecutors said. It was designated as a national core technology protected under South Korea's industrial technology protection laws.

Samsung Display is a market leader in making small to mid-sized OLED panels, controlling over 95 percent of global market share and supplying them to clients such as Apple.

Chinese manufacturers have been using Samsung Display's OLED in their flagship phones, and the increased demand has been enormously profitable for the South Korean tech giant.

Samsung introduced the edge version of OLED panels with the Galaxy Note Edge in 2014. Since then, it has introduced a dual-edge version that has been used in its flagship S and Note series.

Samsung is also preparing to introduce a smartphone that will have a foldable OLED panel next year.

Related Coverage

Samsung Galaxy S10: Six cameras, and bigger than the Note 9

Think the Samsung Note 9 is a powerhouse? According to a report, the Galaxy S10 could feature six cameras, 5G support, and a display that dwarfs the Note 9.

Samsung opens registration for the One UI beta

Samsung recently announced a new look for its Android devices, called One UI. And if you have a compatible device, you can now help test it.

Samsung to invest $22 billion in 5G and AI

5G will unlock the potential of artificial intelligence, Samsung's network boss says, and the South Korean tech giant will invest $22 billion in the next-generation network to secure 20 percent market share by 2020.

Samsung reaches conclusion of 11 year leukemia controversy

Samsung Electronics has reached a final settlement with the group representing the families of ex-employees who died from leukemia and other cancers while working at the company's semiconductor plants.