It seems that things might not so happy for the “Happy Telephone Company”, advertised recently in its viral marketing campaign. Two HTC high-ranking officials were ordered to be detained by the Taipei District Court on accusations of embezzlement and selling of commercial secrets.

Chien Chih-lin, vice general of research department, and Wu Chien-hung, research department director, were yesterday arrested for planning to start phone design companies in China using technology and knowledge stolen from HTC. The two are accused of violating Taiwan’s Trade Secrets Act and Securities Exchange Act among other things and were considered as flight risks.

This arrest is just a part of an on-going criminal investigation initiated by HTC itself against a number of its senior officials. Also arrested were HTC senior engineer Huang Hung-yi and senior manager Huang Kuo-ching, both of whom were earlier released on a bail of $10,000 and $3,400, respectively. According to HTC, these senior officials have tried to make reimbursements using fake receipts amounting to around $340,000. The suspects were also said to have stolen commercial secrets related to a new phone’s user interface, although no mention was made of HTC’s Sense interface for Android.

With the IFA trade show almost starting, HTC, who is expected to unveil the HTC One Max this week, could do with a bit less negative publicity. Although it would not reveal details due to non-disclosure clauses, the company is confident that the issue will not affect its operations.

SOURCE: Taipei Times