Three Beijing citizens have been sentenced to prison after plotting to steal information on the Apple iPad 2 prior to its March launch.

According to the Wall Street Journal, two employees of Foxconn, the Taiwan-based company that that constructs Apple’s iPads, were paid for information about the upcoming device by the head of a Chinese accessories manufacturer that produces protective cases.

All three received jail sentences and fines. MacTop Electronics general manager Xiao Chengson was sentenced to 18 months in prison, while the ex-Foxconn employees were sentenced for 14 months.

Chengson, general manager of MacTop Electronics allegedly offered Penga around £2000, along with product discounts. Penga then paid an existing employee Kecheng to take pictures of the back cover. Using results from this MacTop started developing and promoting Apple iPad 2 cases before the product was announced by Apple.

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