iPad 2 leaks land three people in prison in China

Three people in China have received jail sentences for conspiring to steal details of Apple's iPad 2 before launch. The Foxconn employees were paid by an accessories manufacturer.

Luke Westaway Senior editor
Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.
Luke Westaway

Three people in China have been sent to prison for collaborating to steal information on Apple's iPad 2 before its release earlier this year.

Xiao Chengsong, general manager of Shenzhen MacTop Electronics, which manufactures iPad cases, offered former Foxconn employee Hou Penga 20,000 yuan (about £2,000) plus discounts on MacTop products to get information on the iPad 2, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Penga then paid Lin Kecheng -- who worked at Foxconn at the time -- to get digital photos of the back of the iPad 2 last September, months before the coveted tablet was officially announced.

A heads-up on the iPad 2's design would certainly have helped a company that makes cases for Apple tech. All three, however, have been issued jail sentences and hefty fines.

Xiao has been sentenced to 18 months in prison and fined 150,000 yuan (approximately £14,000), Hou landed a year in jail with a 30,000 yuan fine (about £2,900), and Lin will serve a 14-month sentence, and pay a fine 100,000 yuan (roughly £9,500).

The Shenzhen Bao'an People's Court announced its decision via Chinese social network Sina Weibo.

Foxconn is the Chinese factory that builds Apple's gadgets, and is a subsidiary of Hon Hai Precision Industry. Foxconn is no stranger to controversy -- in 2009 a 25-year-old employee committed suicide after losing an iPhone 4 prototype.