UMC fined for dealings in China

The Taipei courts have had a pop at maker of chips United Microelectronics, saying its efforts to invest in HeJian Technology had breached Taiwan’s regulations. It’s been fined NT $5 million, or US $156,250.

The dispute goes back to 2006 when the economic ministry said it wanted to fine UMC. The issue is about Taiwanese UMC investing in a mainland China company without regulatory approval, which is forbidden by the government of Taiwan. There’s a huge amount of tension between Taiwan and China – they have guns pointed at each other all the time.

Allegedly HeJian said it would give UMC 15 percent in its company, worth about US $110 million, as long as UMC’s then chief executive Robert Tsao, along with other execs, guided it on its way.UMC argued that a tech industry cooperation shouldn’t be considered as investing, however the court doesn’t agree as it has just upheld the decision.

The Supreme Administrative Court said that putting money into technology companies or collaborating definitely counts as investing. UMC completely denied throughout that it handed unauthorised dosh to HeJian. It told the Taiwanese government the details of the transaction but apparently it did not wait long enough for all the paper shuffling to go through the courts and get approved. 

UMC is miffed. It has been given the right to appeal and is taking it, reports Taipei Times. A spokesperson said “We will continue to appeal according to legal procedure.” And so it goes on. 

Then chief exec Tsao is also on trial for alleged accounts book fiddling and breaches of trust concerning the same investment. UMC says the Tsao case is “purely political”.