Last year, Micron sued the two companies named in the arraignment for stealing trade secrets, and prior this week the Commerce Department limited U.S. exports to Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co.
The charges accuse the three named individuals of a conspiracy to steal Micron trade secrets relating to the development and manufacture of memory products.
In August 2017, Taiwan authorities filed criminal indictments against UMC and three of its employees for the alleged theft and use of trade secrets from Micron, for the goal of developing DRAM chip manufacturing technologies in cooperation with Jinhua.
The Chinese government, Sessions said, was "notorious around the world" for intellectual property theft.
It will be led by Assistant Attorney General John Demers, who heads the National Security Division of the Department of Justice.
If convicted, the defendants could face up to 15 years in prison and $5 million fines. "UMC regrets that the US Attorney's Office brought these charges without first notifying UMC and giving it an opportunity to discuss the matter".
The trade secrets are valued at about $8.75 billion. Chen then left to become president of a Micron subsidiary in Taiwan, Micron Memory Taiwan, which was responsible for manufacturing at least one of Micron's DRAM chips.
1MDB: Roger Ng to be extradited to US
Prosecutors say Low, Ng, and Leissner conspired to launder the proceeds of fraud involving 1MDB through the USA financial system. Goldman Sachs, which made hundreds of millions from their work with the fund, denies any wrongdoing.
Sessions said the case was the latest in a series that are part of a state-backed program by Beijing to steal US industrial and commercial secrets. At the public interview declaring the charges, an authority said that the organization makes "some of the most developed semiconductor chips in the world".
Department of Justice officials say alleged Chinese economic espionage is "increasing rapidly", and they have established a high-level initiative dedicated to countering what they call a pervasive threat to USA national security. After leaving Micron all three individuals entered employment with UMC where the confidential trade secrets were transferred to China, according to the DOJ indictment. Sessions said the Justice Department will work with Treasury on further developing those regulations. Any U.S. companies found to be doing business with the Chinese chip company will face penalties, reports the Register. "This is part of a much broader whole-of-government approach to countering China's efforts to gain strategic advantage, particularly in emerging technology".
Mr Sessions noted during Thursday's news conference that this was technology that Chinese firms did not have until recently.
The criminal case is USA v. In September 2015 Chinese President Xi Jin Ping pledged that China would not target US companies for the economic benefit of nonmilitary Chinese companies.
"Obviously, that commitment has not been met", he said.
The US has since restricted visas for Chinese students in the related fields, stepping up export controls of US technology companies and tightening on scrutiny of Chinese investments.
"And it has been increasing rapidly". Pompeo set the tone in a June speech where he accused China of an "unprecedented level of larceny" of intellectual property.