Taiwan Wednesday voiced concern over "malicious talent poaching" in reaction to a report that a high-tech firm run by former Chinese president Jiang Zemin's son was aggressively recruiting staff from the island.
"The flow of talent has to follow proper procedures," Economic Minister Shih Yen-hsiang told a session of parliament. "We don't approve of malicious talent poaching."
Shih made the comment after the Taiwan-based CommonWealth magazine reported that Jiang's son Jiang Mianheng was among a string of Chinese businesses going after the island's high-tech talent.
According to the biweekly magazine, tech company He Hui operated indirectly by the younger Jiang allegedly had recruited 70 people from top research institutes and firms in Taiwan to the alarm of the island's authorities.
"We hope recruitees will seriously consider the potential damage they could cause or the liabilities they could face when making any move," Shih said.
He was referring to an industrial secret protection law recently passed by parliament which imposes tougher punishment on the theft or improper usage of trade secrets.
Taipei has long taken care to protect its high-tech sectors, imposing restrictions on local firms investing in China to avoid the risk of giving the Chinese side a technological advantage.
The government in 2010 relaxed the rules on some high-tech investment in China following calls by local firms, which pointed out their competitors from South Korea and Japan had been stepping up activity there.
China still sees Taiwan as part of its territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary. However, ties have improved markedly since in recent years under Taiwan's Beijing-friendly President Ma Ying-jeou.
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