May 15, 2006 – A Chinese university scientist who claimed to have developed the country’s first digital signal processor chips has been dismissed, following allegations the technology was stolen from a foreign company, according to the Xinhua News Agency as reported by several Western outlets.
Chen Jin, former dean of Shanghai’s Jiaotong U. and leader of a government-backed high tech project, was celebrated in 2003 for his development of the Hanxin processor, seen as a sign of the country’s robust technology R&D abilities. Months later China’s Ministry of Science and Technology announced the development of two more chips from Chen. Now, the government admits that none of the chips had the capabilities Chen claimed, even though the government had said they were tested by government appraisers.
The project had backing from the Shanghai government and Jiaotong U., and local media reported that Chinese prime minister Wen Jiabao had toured the project’s labs. Funding has been pulled from the chip projects, and Chen has been permanently banned from taking part in any other government-funded science projects.
Chen was named dean of Jiaotong U.’s microelectronics school in 2003, after heading a research institute there, and also founded Shanghai Hanxin Semiconductor Technology, the university-affiliated company developing the Hanxin computer chips.