SK employees arrested for allegedly stealing EV battery secrets from rival LG

Asian Tech Press (Apr. 7) -- About 30 employees of SK Innovation Co., South Korea's refinery-to-battery company, have been arrested for allegedly stealing electric vehicle technology secrets from its local rival LG Energy Solution (LGES).

The thirty employees were among about 100 former LG employees who moved to SK between 2017 and 2019 and sparked a trade secrets dispute between the two electric vehicle (EV) battery makers, according to Yonhap News Agency.

LG claimed that SK scouted its employees to obtain trade secrets about EV batteries after entering the market late.

In April 2019, LG filed the case with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), which sided with LG.

But the two Korean battery makers reached a last-minute settlement last year on the condition that SK would compensate LG with 2 trillion won ($1.6 billion).

However, Korean police said Thursday its investigation is continuing because a case of industrial technology outflow is not an offense that cannot be punished due to objection.

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