Huawei: US charges Chinese telecoms giant with stealing trade secrets

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The US Justice Department filed 13 charges against the tech firm, two of its subsidiaries and a senior executive on Tuesday, accusing it of misleading banks about the company's business and violating US sanctions.

A Huawei spokesman did not immediately return phone messages seeking comment.

Prosecutors charge Huawei used a Hong Kong shell company to sell equipment in Iran in violation of US sanctions.

The charges allege, among other things, that the company misrepresented its ownership of a Hong Kong-based subsidiary to circumvent American sanctions against Iran, and stole telecommunications technology, trade secrets and equipment from US cell provider T-Mobile USA. Skycom was also charged.

The 13-count indictment was unsealed Monday in NY charging Huawei, two of its affiliates and a top executive at the company, Meng Wanzhou. Huawei and Huawei USA are charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice.

She was arrested on December 1 in Canada.

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T-Mobile had accused Huawei of stealing the technology, called "Tappy", which mimicked human fingers and was used to test smartphones.

These US charges come the day after Canada fired its ambassador to China, days after he publicly said the US extradition request for Ms Meng was flawed.

The U.S. government is trying to prevent American companies from buying Huawei routers and switches and is pressing allies to do the same.

The deadline for an extradition request is January 30, 60 days after her arrest. If so, they would likely be scheduled months later. A jury in Seattle ruled that Huawei had misappropriated the robotic technology from T-Mobile's lab in Washington state. Huawei then blamed "rogue actors" within the company when T-Mobile threatened to sue, the USA said.

The Justice Department also charged that when Huawei became aware of the US investigation in 2017, the company's American affiliate tried to obstruct that work by trying to move witnesses with knowledge about Huawei's Iran-based business back to China, where FBI agents could not interview them.

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