Three executives at the phone maker HTC have been arrested on suspicion of leaking trade secrets, sending shares in the Taiwanese smartphone specialist plunging.
HTC had last month filed a complaint accusing its vice-president of product design, Thomas Chien, research and development director Wu Chien-Hung, and senior manager of design and innovation Justin Huang of sharing trade secrets.
The trio were also accused of making false commission fee claims worth about T$10m (£215,000), and were arrested on Friday. Chien and Chien-Hung remain in custody, while Huang was released on bail.
Reports in Taiwan suggested the three executives planned to use stolen new interface tech-nology to set up a mobile phone design company.
HTC, rocked by internal feuding and a string of executive exits, has seen its share of the smartphone market slump from about a quarter in 2008 to 5 per cent now. Its shares hit an eight-year low yesterday, down almost 6 per cent to T$147.50.