A Chinese court has sentenced three people to prison for collaborating to steal information from Foxconn about the iPad 2 before it was unveiled to the public. According to The Wall Street Journal, the Shenzhen Bao'an People's Court found that the general manager of MacTop Electronics Company illegally offered a Foxconn employee 20,000 yuan, or about US$3,000, plus discounts on MacTop products for information on the iPad 2 last September. The Foxconn employee then paid another Foxconn employee who worked in the research and development department for digital images of the iPad 2's back cover.
Cover accessory manufactures can typically make a killing if they have their covers for new Apple devices out the day the new product ships, which makes information, such as the dimensions of a new iOS device, very valuable. The general manager of MacTop was sentenced to 18 months in prison and fined 150,000 yuan. The two Foxconn employees were sentenced to 14 months and 13 months, respectively, and fined 100,000 yuan and 30,000 yuan.
There was no word on how the investigation led to the three employees, but Foxconn did issue a statement saying, "We cannot comment on matters of internal security, but Foxconn takes its commitment to protecting its intellectual property as well as that of its customers very seriously and undertakes all appropriate actions to safeguard against any violations."