SEOUL, Dec 15 (Reuters) - A South Korean court has issued an arrest warrant for a former Samsung Electronics 005930.KS official accused of handing over semiconductor technology information to a Chinese chipmaker, Yonhap news agency reported on Friday.
Prosecutors on Wednesday sought an arrest warrant for the former official who is accused of giving information related to 18-nano DRAM memory chip technology to China's Changxin Memory Technologies Inc (CXMT).
Local media reported that the former official left Samsung for CXMT in 2016.
CXMT, owned by state-backed parent Innotron Memory Co, is China's leading maker of DRAM memory chips.
CXMT in a statement to Reuters said it respects intellectual property rights and has a robust mechanism to prevent the inflow of third-party information from its employees, but declined to comment on the matter directly.
South Korea's prosecution office and the court declined to comment on whether the former Samsung official still works for CXMT.
Samsung was not immediately available for comment outside business hours.
Prosecutors said the damage caused by the technology leak could be worth about 2.3 trillion won ($1.77 billion), the Korea Economic Daily newspaper reported, citing the prosecution, adding that the case also involves dozens of others from Samsung Electronics' suppliers.
($1 = 1,296.3900 won)
(Reporting by Heekyong Yang in Seoul and Yelin Mo in Beijing; editing by Jason Neely)
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