The internal drama at HTC continues as a handful of HTC’s employees were arrested earlier today on charges of fraudulent expenses and stealing trade secrets. The most notable names among those arrested are Thomas Chien (Vice President of Product Design, Wu Chien Hung Director of R&D and senior design team manager Justin Huang (responsible for the design of the HTC One).
The arrests were made following a personal complain by HTC’s chairwoman Cher Wang. Those arrested had recently resigned from HTC after claiming their mid-year bonuses this week. The group of designers was in the process of setting up their own mobile design firm under the name “Xiaoyu” in mainland China. The complaint alleges the three men listed above contracted an external design firm to bill HTC for US$334,000 worth of commission fees for the design of the HTC One even though the phone was designed in-house. The money was collected between May and June of this year and split between the three. Thomas Chien is also accused of downloading files for HTC’s upcoming Sense 6 UI and distributing them via e-mail to external contacts.
Due to the nature of the investigation, HTC doesn’t have much to say on the matter at this time. We’ll sure new details will come to light over the comings days or weeks.
The matter is under investigation by relevant authorities. We therefore refrain from further comments.HTC
No matter what the final outcome is, we doubt Thomas Chien, Wu Chien Hung and Justin Huang will have much luck with their mobile design firm or gaining employment at any other smartphone OEM. Hopefully, HTC’s upcoming products will not be effected much by this setback, but we’re sure it’ll take quite some time the replace the design talent that HTC has lost.