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United Microelectronics Corporation

Pomerantz LLP announces that a class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of investors in United Microelectronics Corporation ("UMC" or the "Company") (NYSE: UMC) against certain of the Company's current and former officers and directors.   The class action, filed in United States District Court, Southern District of New York, and indexed under 19-cv-02304, is on behalf of a class consisting of all persons and entities, other than Defendants and their affiliates, who purchased or otherwise acquired publicly traded securities of UMC between October 28, 2015 and November 1, 2018, both dates inclusive (the "Class Period"), seeking to recover damages caused by Defendants' violations of the federal securities laws and to pursue remedies under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act") and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, against the Company and certain of its senior officials.

If you are a shareholder who purchased UMC securities during the class period, you have until May 13, 2019, to ask the Court to appoint you as Lead Plaintiff for the class.  A copy of the Complaint can be obtained at www.pomerantzlaw.com.   To discuss this action, contact Robert S. Willoughby at rswilloughby@pomlaw.com or 888.476.6529 (or 888.4-POMLAW), toll-free, Ext. 9980. Those who inquire by e-mail are encouraged to include their mailing address, telephone number, and the number of shares purchased.

UMC purports to engage in the research, development, and manufacture of products in the solar energy and light-emitting diode industries. 

On May 13, 2016, the Company announced that it had entered into a Dynamic Random-Access Memory ("DRAM") Technology Cooperation Agreement with Fujian Jianhua Integrated Circuit Co. Ltd. ("Fujian"). Under the agreement, Fujian was to provide UMC with related equipment for its research and development, as well as service fees subject to the progress of the technology development.  UMC was to develop DRAM related technologies for Fujian and deliver such development results to Fujian before May 12, 2021.  The developed technologies were to be jointly owned by both parties.

DRAM is a memory device product used in electronics to store information.  DRAM is a technologically advanced commodity that is widely used in digital electronics, as well as leading-edge computing, consumer, networking, automotive, industrial, embedded, and mobile productions.

At all relevant times, one of UMC's primary competitors has been Micron Technology, Inc. ("Micron"), a leading U.S. semiconductor company known for its development and production of DRAM products.

Throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and misleading statements regarding UMC's business, operational and compliance policies.  Specifically, Defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that:  (i) UMC conspired with Fujian to steal trade secrets from Micron relating to its research and development of DRAM; (ii) UMC hired former Micron employees for the purpose of stealing such information from Micron; (iii) the foregoing conduct placed UMC and certain of its employees at an increased risk of criminal and regulatory investigation by the U.S. government; and (iv) as a result, UMC's public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.

On November 1, 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice ("DOJ") indicted UMC, Fujian, and Chen Zhengkun a.k.a. Stephen Chen ("Chen"), a former Micron employee hired by UMC, for conspiracy to commit economic espionage, conspiracy to commit theft of trade secrets, and economic espionage (receiving and possessing stolen trade secrets).  The indictment stated that the companies conspired to steal trade secrets from Micron relating to its research and development of memory storage devices.  According to the indictment, the conspiracy to commit economic espionage began in or around January 2016, the conspiracy to commit theft of trade secrets began in or about October 2015, and the economic espionage (receiving and possessing stolen trade secrets) began in or about February 2016.

According to the DOJ's indictment, Chen, a Taiwanese national, resigned as the President of Micron's subsidiary, Micron Memory Taiwan Co., Ltd. ("MMT"), in July 2015. Thereafter, Chen began working for UMC as its Senior Vice President and Fabrication Director in Taiwan in September 2015.  According to the indictment, Chen, as well as agents of UMC, later hired additional former employees of Micron who stole Micron trade secrets and, at the direction of UMC employees, used such trade secrets to enhance UMC's DRAM technologies.

As news of UMC's indictment reached the market, UMC's ADS price fell by $0.19 per share, or nearly 10%, over the following two trading sessions to close at $1.71 per share on November 5, 2018.