Six former engineers and designers of Chinese smartphone maker Huawei were reportedly arrested for leaking commercial secrets to their new employers and rivals, media reported.
"The arrests of former Huawei employees may well have been helped by the company's position as a national hero as the company has been a favourite of the Chinese government as the country's largest seller of telecom equipment," Fortune reported, quoting Chinese news site sina.com.
"Huawei alleged that its rivals stole two patents for an antenna design and a children's smartwatch and the accused employees allegedly shared all this info with the rivals," reported tech website androidheadlines.com.
Huawei has taken tough measures against the product designers, the report added.
Touted as the third largest smartphone manufacturer in the world, Huawei shipped 140 million smartphones last year, a 30 per cent rise from the previous year.