US charges Huawei with violating sanctions and stealing trade secrets

Huawei, News

The US Justice Department is taking criminal action against Huawei, two of its subsidiaries and a senior executive, accusing the Chinese tech company of misleading banks about the company’s business and violating US sanctions.

The company is also charged in a separate case with stealing trade secrets from T-Mobile, according to federal prosecutors. Prosecutors are seeking to extradite the company’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, and allege she committed fraud by misleading banks about Huawei’s business dealings in Iran.

She was arrested on December 1 in Canada.

Meng Wanzhou
Meng Wanzhou (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press/AP)

US prosecutors say Huawei used a Hong Kong shell company called Skycom to sell equipment in Iran in violation of US sanctions. Meng misled US banks into believing the two companies were separate, according to the Justice Department.

Huawei is the world’s biggest supplier of network equipment used by phone and internet companies and has long been seen as a front for spying by the Chinese military or security services.

Prosecutors also allege that Huawei stole trade secrets, including the technology behind a robotic device T-Mobile used to test smartphones, prosecutors said.

A jury in Seattle ruled that Huawei had misappropriated the robotic technology from T-Mobile’s lab in Washington state.

The Huawei case has set off a diplomatic spat with the three nations, which has threatened to complicate ties between the US and Canada.

President Donald Trump said he would get involved in the Huawei case if it would help produce a trade agreement with China, and said in December that he would “intervene if I thought it was necessary”.

Chris Price
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