Samsung’s full response on the allegation is presented below.
“Samsung makes it a top priority to protect and respect the intellectual property rights of others.
We are deeply disappointed with the media reports that had widely assumed or even suggested Samsung’s participation in any incorrect action against ASML, which is not true.
While we cannot disclose details of our trade agreements, Samsung has taken precautions to comply with all laws and regulations with its development contract with Xtal, including a clause that specifically prohibits the illegal use of third-party IPs. All products that have resulted from our association with Xtal do not interfere with ASML IPs.
We would also like to clarify that, unlike the media reports, our partnership with ASML has remained strong without interruption. “
Samsung spied and stole ASML software. A company that uses to help mass produce its chipsets that are used in smartphones, tablets and almost everything else the company manufactures.
Originally, the Dutch press believed that it was the Chinese government that was spying on ASML, which would not be an overly extravagant idea given the recent actions of China. But, ASML CEO Peter Wennink denied that it was China, and instead said it was “our biggest customer in South Korea”. Wennink refused to say it was Samsung by name, and instead said it was his biggest Korean customer for the second time. Which basically points to Samsung, since it is the only chip maker (which is large enough) in South Korea that ASML works with
According to Wennink, this conclusion came from the company that hired an outside company to find out who was behind the spying and theft of its software. The external company was able to conclude that it was not state espionage, but “ordinary” commercial espionage.
Apparently, the spies are all former Chinese employees who stole the software and created their own company to compete with ASML, Xtal. It is in China and the United States.
Espionage took place in 2015, and the new company, Xtal, was created in 2016. That year, Samsung became a 30 percent shareholder of Xtal, then ASML lost Samsung as a client of this particular software. The software in question is used to configure chip machines for optimal electronic chip production. But interestingly, Samsung is already an ASML customer once again.
It is not clear how things will develop for Samsung and ASML, now that all this information is available to the public and people are seeing the true colors of Samsung. But the fact that Samsung spied on one of its partners is not a big surprise. However, it actually happens quite frequently, it is the Chinese companies that do this and not the South Korean companies. For example, Huawei spied and stole some of the T-Mobile equipment many years ago. It happened almost a decade ago and was resolved a few years ago. But it only reached the news cycle at the end of last year. Therefore, these things may take a while to come to light, and once they do, it paints the company in a bad way.
The fact that ASML came out and rejected the fact that the Chinese government spied on them is a big problem. However, its CEO, in fact, pointed it directly to Samsung, and since Samsung stopped using ASML shortly after spying was completed and a competitor opened in China, it definitely makes everything smell fishy.
ASML has said that once it discovered that it was a victim of espionage, it acted quickly. It has also stepped up his game to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Although company also admits that corporate espionage is not something out of the ordinary.