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Three Chinese jailed for leaking details about Apple's iPad 2

post #1 of 32
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Three Chinese people this week were sentenced to prison terms for stealing information from a supplier about Apple's iPad 2 before it was announced.

The people were convicted of collaborating to steal information from a key Apple supplier, according to The Wall Street Journal. The Shenszhen Bao'an People's Court reportedly said that Shenzhen MacTop Electronics Co., a Chinese electronics accessories manufacturer, paid a former employee who then worked for Foxconn to share information about the iPad 2 in advance so they could produce protective cases.

The court said that Xiao Chengsong, general manager of MacTop, offered 20,000 yuan, or about $3,000, plus discounts on his company's products to former Foxconn employee Hou Pengna. In exchange, the employee was to obtain information about the iPad before it was public knowledge.

That person is said to have paid Lin Kecheng, a research-and-development employee at Foxconn, to obtain digital images of the back cover of the iPad 2 last September. The iPad 2 was not publicly revealed until this March.

Xiao was reportedly sentenced to 18 months in prison and fined 150,000 yuan, Lin was sentenced to 14 months in prison and fined 100,000 yuan, while Hou faces a year in prison and a fine of 30,000 yuan.

Third-party cases designed for the iPad 2 began appearing as early as December of 2010. They offered an accurate representation of what the final product would look like, including a rear-facing camera and a larger speaker grille on the back of the device.



In April it was reported that three Foxconn employees were charged with leaking the design of the iPad 2. It is not understood, with Wednesday's latest development, whether one employee was not sentenced, or whether the original report was mistaken and the third person charged was actually with MacTop.

When third-party cases with an accurate representation of the iPad 2 began to appear, Foxconn officials became suspicious that its employees could have had a hand in leaking information. The company then reported its suspicions to local police, who began an investigation.
post #2 of 32
Wow! My gut-feeling is that the sentencing and fine are too high.

Oh well - this may act as a deterrent to others...
post #3 of 32
Sucks to be them!

It's good to see greedy criminals and thieves getting what they deserve. If you can't do the time, then don't do the crime. Maybe the next jackasses to come along will think twice before trying to steal secrets from Apple.

They're lucky to have gotten off with such a light sentence and mild fine. Now if only Apple can figure out a way to do something about Chinese scalpers in the US. When I go to purchase my iPad3 next year, I don't want to run into any of those criminal and cheating types.
post #4 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoXoM View Post

Wow! My gut-feeling is that the sentencing and fine are too high.

Oh well - this may act as a deterrent to others...

Yeah, on one hand, these sentences are pretty high. On the other hand, I'm a bit surprised they weren't executed.

Glad that China is taking this stuff seriously for a change though.
post #5 of 32
Oh... I see this thread going downhill quickly...
post #6 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by canucklehead View Post

Yeah, on one hand, these sentences are pretty high. On the other hand, I'm a bit surprised they weren't executed.

Glad that China is taking this stuff seriously for a change though.

China is only taking it seriously since it is Apple and Foxconn who bring big money into the China economy, otherwise they could care less.
post #7 of 32
That's what Apple gets for exploiting slave labor. Maybe if they were paid a decent wage the employee wouldn't have gone to jail for the next year and a half for a whole $3000. Bravo Globalization!
post #8 of 32
The sad dilemma, that I guess anyone here could understand, is that without guys like these there wouldn't be an Appleinsider. We're the leechers.. that feed from these ill deeders..
post #9 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by evanwilliams4u View Post

That's what Apple gets for exploiting slave labor. Maybe if they were paid a decent wage the employee wouldn't have gone to jail for the next year and a half for a whole $3000. Bravo Globalization!

Don't post this snot again, please. Thanks. This isn't what the thread is about at all.

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post #10 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by palegolas View Post

We're the leechers.. that feed from these ill deeders..

post #11 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by evanwilliams4u View Post

That's what Apple gets for exploiting slave labor. Maybe if they were paid a decent wage the employee wouldn't have gone to jail for the next year and a half for a whole $3000. Bravo Globalization!

You sound like a hysterical liberal who needs to tell untruths in order to push whatever point it is you were trying to make. It is not slave labor. The workers may not make a lot of money compared to what western workers make, but to call it slave labor is to make a mockery of real slave labor. It is up to their societies to become more western and modern, then maybe things will change for them.

If I break down the doors to your house and randomly shoot a few people in the head, rape a few women, while enslaving the rest of your entire family against their will and put them to work for me making fake iPads, while feeding them a small plate of cold rice and warm water once a day, then that might possibly qualify as slave labor.

Without Apple, many of those workers might not even have a job. If it's slave labor, then why don't they simply go and work someplace else? If there aren't many other choices, then they should be grateful that companies like Apple exists and they are doing business in their country, providing many jobs for people who would otherwise have had zilch.
post #12 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by evanwilliams4u View Post

That's what Apple gets for exploiting slave labor. Maybe if they were paid a decent wage the employee wouldn't have gone to jail for the next year and a half for a whole $3000. Bravo Globalization!

Please keep posting this snot, otherwise the debate will descend into neocons spouting off in righteous rightwing indignation.
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post #13 of 32
get those police to catch up to all the illegal hackers and internet scum.
post #14 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by ezduzit View Post

get those police to catch up to all the illegal hackers and internet scum.

Not sure if naïve or just joking. \

Originally posted by Marvin

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post #15 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

You sound like a hysterical liberal who needs to tell untruths in order to push whatever point it is you were trying to make. It is not slave labor. The workers may not make a lot of money compared to what western workers make, but to call it slave labor is to make a mockery of real slave labor. It is up to their societies to become more western and modern, then maybe things will change for them.

If I break down the doors to your house and randomly shoot a few people in the head, rape a few women, while enslaving the rest of your entire family against their will and put them to work for me making fake iPads, while feeding them a small plate of cold rice and warm water once a day, then that might possibly qualify as slave labor.

Without Apple, many of those workers might not even have a job. If it's slave labor, then why don't they simply go and work someplace else? If there aren't many other choices, then they should be grateful that companies like Apple exists and they are doing business in their country, providing many jobs for people who would otherwise have had zilch.

This is wrong on so many levels. I vote for a conservative point of view in the UK and do not have the arrogance that you are displaying here. He was saying "slave labour" as a tongue-in-cheek reference. It is ATROCIOUS that these people are getting jailed and fined for spreading a "trade secret" which probably attracted Apple some publicity. As for societies becoming more "western" I think we are all gonna have to bow to becoming more eastern as China increases in power and productivity.

As for "going somewhere else" maybe there aren't many jobs in the region. Maybe they understand the need to work. I don't believe that welfare in China is equivalent to what we have so maybe they don't have the luxury of this choice. It's a shame that China does not have the same laws for minimum wages that our countries do, and thus their workers get exploited. It's a bit rotten to call Apple a benefactor here. They, like all other globalised companies, are trying to make profit as efficiently as possible and that involves cheap labour.
post #16 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by awstirling1 View Post

This is wrong on so many levels. I vote for a conservative point of view in the UK and do not have the arrogance that you are displaying here. He was saying "slave labour" as a tongue-in-cheek reference. It is ATROCIOUS that these people are getting jailed and fined for spreading a "trade secret" which probably attracted Apple some publicity. As for societies becoming more "western" I think we are all gonna have to bow to becoming more eastern as China increases in power and productivity.

As for "going somewhere else" maybe there aren't many jobs in the region. Maybe they understand the need to work. I don't believe that welfare in China is equivalent to what we have so maybe they don't have the luxury of this choice. It's a shame that China does not have the same laws for minimum wages that our countries do, and thus their workers get exploited. It's a bit rotten to call Apple a benefactor here. They, like all other globalised companies, are trying to make profit as efficiently as possible and that involves cheap labour.

Baloney.

Foxconn pays significantly higher than other industries in the area. The employees choose to work there.

As for it being atrocious for people to be fined and jailed for stealing intellectual property worth many millions, if not billions, of dollars, just what do you think should be done? Give them a medal? That would be a sure way to guarantee that NO company would ever be able to protect a trade secret.

The fact is that every employee is told that they are not to disclose information and that it's illegal to do so. These employees chose to break the law and should be punished.

Whether the actual fine and jail sentence is appropriate is certainly open to question, but since I don't know what the law calls for in China, I can't comment. But to argue that they should be able to steal confidential trade secret information with impunity is just plain ridiculous. And whether it attracted publicity for Apple is completely irrelevant. Apple has the right to decide when and where to disclose their confidential information. Some criminal third party doesn't have the right to usurp Apple's rights.

Oh, and btw, you really ought to check your facts before blathering your ignorance for the entire world to see. China DOES have minimum wage laws - which Foxconn meets.
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post #17 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by awstirling1 View Post

It is ATROCIOUS that these people are getting jailed and fined for spreading a "trade secret" which probably attracted Apple some publicity.

It's not atrocious, it's plain common sense that the criminals got locked up. What they did was highly illegal, they were disloyal to the company that was generous enough to hire them and they were perhaps arrogant enough or maybe they were stupid enough to think that they might have gotten away with it. Most normal people realize that it is wrong to steal, especially if you happen to be stealing secrets from your employer.
post #18 of 32
I agree, these 3 should be prosecuted...

And I don't want to sound "hysterical"...but is there anyone on these boards that don't think Chinese workers, on the whole, are being exploited?

Second point, we outsourced our factories because of short sighted labor leaders and short sighted CEO's in this country (USA) and now the same short sighted CEO's are are "giving away" our IP.

Anyway just saying...if we're not careful, those without college degrees will be working at Walmart and the those with degrees will be selling insurance to each other!

Best
post #19 of 32
Ethics is different in China. Think about the copying of software that we call 'piracy', but many over there feel is just fine.

It's interesting to watch these things play out on the global stage. Does 'The West' have a right to impose its values on other nations? Is China obligated to play by Western rules?

Are our (Western) ethics and morality better? Do we impose these things on other cultures?
post #20 of 32
It is illegal to jaywalk, too, and everyone knows it. You cannot justify punishment on the basis that something is illegal and everyone knows it.

We should all be dead.

Someday, come to Asia to get a taste of what it's like. I just got out of South Korea (the democratic one). They were literally built by the USA and have one of the most shameful governments/corporate relationships I've ever seen.

Illegal activities go on every day by almost everyone. If we could be pinpointed, lying would be perjury, mumbling would be conspiracy.

This protection of giant corporations is the baloney you should be eating. They may be necessary for certain items, pride, and economy, but the expense is huge. Again, before calling baloney on a pretty fair assessment, come to Korea, maybe even China, to see how corporations are given free reign.

If I had stayed much longer in S. Korea, I'd have probably been very happy to hear of any rebellion against Samsung or Hyundai or any of the other corporations that derive their successes from illegal and non-human treatment of their country people.

A foreign company is no different in such a place.

A trip across the border from Hong Kong (very near Foxconn) showed a pickpocket getting thrashed by police. Imagine how badly the person got thrashed who leaked the info to the internet.

This incessant arm for an arm display by people who live in countries with some semblance of personal rights is insulting at best.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Baloney.

Foxconn pays significantly higher than other industries in the area. The employees choose to work there.

As for it being atrocious for people to be fined and jailed for stealing intellectual property worth many millions, if not billions, of dollars, just what do you think should be done? Give them a medal? That would be a sure way to guarantee that NO company would ever be able to protect a trade secret.

The fact is that every employee is told that they are not to disclose information and that it's illegal to do so. These employees chose to break the law and should be punished.

Whether the actual fine and jail sentence is appropriate is certainly open to question, but since I don't know what the law calls for in China, I can't comment. But to argue that they should be able to steal confidential trade secret information with impunity is just plain ridiculous. And whether it attracted publicity for Apple is completely irrelevant. Apple has the right to decide when and where to disclose their confidential information. Some criminal third party doesn't have the right to usurp Apple's rights.

Oh, and btw, you really ought to check your facts before blathering your ignorance for the entire world to see. China DOES have minimum wage laws - which Foxconn meets.
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post #21 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post

It is illegal to jaywalk, too, and everyone knows it. You cannot justify punishment on the basis that something is illegal and everyone knows it.

It's a matter of perspective, common sense and being able to think for yourself. If you think that jaywalking and corporate espionage are on the same level, then I think that you might run into some issues later on in life making choices.
post #22 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

It's a matter of perspective, common sense and being able to think for yourself. If you think that jaywalking and corporate espionage are on the same level, then I think that you might run into some issues later on in life making choices.

Indeed, it is a matter of perspective. And if you live in a country where corporations have NO respect for employees (as in Korea), you do your best to stab them in the back, start your own company, and rip off your former employee. China, from what I understand, is very similar.

Perspective comes in all shapes and sizes. Jaywalking is nothing, right? Well, neither are a lot of crimes that we go wee wee wa wa about.
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post #23 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post

It is illegal to jaywalk, too, and everyone knows it. You cannot justify punishment on the basis that something is illegal and everyone knows it.

So what's your point? Since SOME crimes aren't often prosecuted, that NO crimes should be prosecuted? OK. By that logic, I'll be at your house at midnight to steal your car. Since jaywalking is rarely prosecuted, you shouldn't have any complaint about me stealing your car.

The fact is that the value of the intellectual property stolen was many times the value of your car. The state had every right to prosecute.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post

We should all be dead.

Someday, come to Asia to get a taste of what it's like. I just got out of South Korea (the democratic one). They were literally built by the USA and have one of the most shameful governments/corporate relationships I've ever seen.

So? What's your point? You seem to be claiming that since the governments in Asia stink, that it should be OK to steal intellectual property. That's absurd. I guess you don't object if Foxconn employees steal your car and household possessions. After all, they have a lousy government.

Oh, and btw, I've been to Asia about 2 dozen times.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post

Illegal activities go on every day by almost everyone. If we could be pinpointed, lying would be perjury, mumbling would be conspiracy.

Once again, you seem to think that since SOME people get away with committing crimes that no crimes should be prosecuted. That is an insanely stupid argument.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post

This protection of giant corporations is the baloney you should be eating. They may be necessary for certain items, pride, and economy, but the expense is huge. Again, before calling baloney on a pretty fair assessment, come to Korea, maybe even China, to see how corporations are given free reign.

]

I have. Many times. I fail to see how the fact that YOU don't like some employers in China justifies blatant theft.
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post #24 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post

Indeed, it is a matter of perspective. And if you live in a country where corporations have NO respect for employees (as in Korea), you do your best to stab them in the back, start your own company, and rip off your former employee. China, from what I understand, is very similar.

Perspective comes in all shapes and sizes. Jaywalking is nothing, right? Well, neither are a lot of crimes that we go wee wee wa wa about.

So if theft if intellectual property valued at millions of dollars is nothing, then you won't mind if I come to your house and steal your car, computer, household goods, and drain your bank accounts dry.
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post #25 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post

Imagine how badly the person got thrashed who leaked the info to the internet.

This was my initial reaction upon reading the story as well. Prison in China by itself is inhumane -- not that things are necessarily much better in the US.

Some average salaries in China:

http://www.worldsalaries.org/china.shtml

That $3000 probably equalled more than his entire year's salary. Right, wrong? I guess it depends on what you value most: some foreign company's spoiled marketing or feeding your kids.

I'm not going to cheer the guy on, but I'm not going to damn him to hell either or pretend what he did somehow affected my life negatively. In actuality, it gave me a few minutes of entertainment and this site and others chunks of ad revenue.
post #26 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

So if theft if intellectual property valued at millions of dollars is nothing, then you won't mind if I come to your house and steal your car, computer, household goods, and drain your bank accounts dry.

Stealing tangible objects that have fixed values is not the same as rumors and information. Your government employs spies across the globe to steal secrets too and blatantly uses that info to sabotage entire political systems and economies. Where's your moral outrage about that?
post #27 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

So if theft if intellectual property valued at millions of dollars is nothing, then you won't mind if I come to your house and steal your car, computer, household goods, and drain your bank accounts dry.

So sad that your western government has you brainwashed into thinking that IP and physical things are the same.
post #28 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by bedouin View Post

Stealing tangible objects that have fixed values is not the same as rumors and information. Your government employs spies across the globe to steal secrets too and blatantly uses that info to sabotage entire political systems and economies. Where's your moral outrage about that?

No no no, you've got it all wrong. For governments and multinationals, it's perfectly OK.

It's only bad when it's some peasant from the developing world that just wants to make some quick cash so that he can have all stuff the movie stars in the flashy advertisements say he should have.
post #29 of 32
It's about time leakers were prosecuted for breaking the law. Now if we could only start handing out some harsh sentences here in the US for those doing the same. Here we even have unethical websites like TUAW that actively and publicly asks Apple employees to break their rock solid NDAs, and therefore the law, and provide them with illegally obtained insider information. Just a few days ago they called out "if you are a disgruntled Apple employee let us know what you know". Those clowns should also be thrown in jail - asking someone to break the law for your own gain is also illegal. (The gain here being an exclusive / scoop that will gain more readers, more advertisers etc.) TUAW, now a part of AOL. Shame on you.
post #30 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by bedouin View Post

Stealing tangible objects that have fixed values is not the same as rumors and information. Your government employs spies across the globe to steal secrets too and blatantly uses that info to sabotage entire political systems and economies. Where's your moral outrage about that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anawrahta View Post

So sad that your western government has you brainwashed into thinking that IP and physical things are the same.

Obviously, neither of you has any concept of property law.

No one ever said that IP and physical things are the same. BUT, intellectual property IS property and is entitled to certain legal protections.

However, if you think it's OK to steal intellectual property because it's not a tangible object, then you won't mind if I take your credit card number and bank account information and go on a spending spree. Right?
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post #31 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anawrahta View Post

So sad that your western government has you brainwashed into thinking that IP and physical things are the same.

So sad that you have never created anything of worth that might require protection from theft. But then again, it's so awesome to be able to buy luxury goods at Sanlitun and Xiushuijie markets, or electronics in Haidian etc for a fraction of the price, isn't it!!1!
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post #32 of 32
Justice in China...I'll believe that when alibaba is prosecuted.
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