Taiwan arrested six current and former BASF SE engineers accused of accepting bribes and sharing the German company’s technology with Jiangyin Jianghua Microelectronics Materials Co., in one of the more elaborate cases involving alleged Chinese intellectual property theft.

Jianghua offered them 40 million yuan ($5.8 million) in return for help building a new factory in the eastern Chinese province of Jiangsu, Criminal Investigation Bureau official Lu Sung-hao told reporters at a briefing Monday. The mainland company had already wired NT$40 million ($1.3 million) to two accounts in Samoa controlled by the group, he added.

(Photo by NurPhoto / Contributor via Getty Images)

American and Taiwanese officials have long accused Chinese companies of purloining intellectual property in a quest to climb the technology ladder, something Beijing’s consistently denied. Such leaks, which American officials say include the forced transfer of technology, are a key complaint of Washington’s as the world’s two largest economies open talks to avert a damaging trade war.

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