Controversy over HHI's technology extortion from smaller companies continues
Controversy over HHI's technology extortion from smaller companies continues
  • Jung Jun-ho
  • 승인 2019.10.25 12:35
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Rep. Song Kap-seok of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea

Even after being criticized for stealing technologies from small and medium-sized companies during last year's parliamentary audit, Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has reportedly cut off contacts with affected companies and continued taking no action about it.

HHI was under fire at its parliamentary inspection last year due to the controversy over "its power trip" in which it stole technology from the S company, which has been supplying pistons, cylinders and heads for engines for more than 10 years, and allowed a third company to mass-produce them, while demanding a reduction in unit cost of goods to Samyoung Machinery Industrial.

At that time, HHI said, "Big and small companies should coexist. I will engage in talks with the S company."

Rep. Song Kap-seok of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea, however, pointed out during a parliamentary audit on Oct. 21, "Since the inspection last year, HHI has held three rounds of negotiations with the S company until January this year, but it has not been in contact with the company without suggesting any solution."

In response, HHI CEO Han Young-seok said, "We will deal with the issue based on the outcome of the trial as it is currently under the court trial on the original technology."

Currently, the prosecution is investigating HHI on charges of violating the Industrial Technology Act and the Subcontracting Trade Act. Civil lawsuits have also been carried out at the Ulsan District Court over such cases as a drastic cut in unit price, failure to pay for replacement products and indefinite postponement of the deadline for delivery.

Rep. Song said, "HHI is throwing away its partners who have been working together for nearly 30 years and who contributed to help HHI become the world's top shipbuilding company by localizing core technologies. Because of large companies' technology extortion, small and medium-sized companies' will to develop technologies is being undermined."

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