Authorities in the United States have unsealed a pair of indictments against Huawei. The first being a 13-count indictment against the company and its CFO Meng Wanzhou, and the second is a 10-count indictment alleging the company conspired to steal intellectual property from T-Mobile and subsequently obstructed justice. The Department of Justice in a statement relating to the second indictment said the alleged behaviour happened between 2012 and 2014, and that Huawei allegedly offered bonuses to employees for stealing information from competitors. "The charges unsealed today clearly allege that Huawei intentionally conspired to steal the intellectual property of an American company in an attempt to undermine the free and fair global marketplace," FBI Director Christopher Wray said. "To the detriment of American ingenuity, Huawei continually disregarded the laws of the United States in the hopes of gaining an unfair economic advantage. As the volume of these charges prove, the FBI will not tolerate corrupt businesses that violate the laws that allow American companies and the United States to thrive."
A bipartisan group of legislators in the United States has introduced bills that would prohibit the sale of US chips or other components to Chinese telecommunications companies that violate Washington's sanctions or export control laws. The proposed law was introduced on Wednesday shortly before the Wall Street Journal reported that US authorities are in the "advanced" stages of a criminal probe that could result in an indictment of Chinese technology giant Huawei, the second-largest global smartphone maker and biggest producer of telecommunications equipment. Citing anonymous sources, the Journal said that an indictment could be coming soon on allegations that Huawei stole Tappy, a T-Mobile technology which mimicked human fingers and was used to test smartphones. Huawei said in a statement the company and T-Mobile settled their disputes in 2017 following a US jury verdict that found "neither damage, unjust enrichment nor willful and malicious conduct by Huawei in T-Mobile's trade secret claim". On Capitol Hill, the bills introduced by Senator Tom Cotton and Representative Mike Gallagher, both Republicans, along with Senator Chris Van Hollen and Representative Ruben Gallego, both Democrats, specifically cite Huawei and ZTE, both of which are viewed with suspicion in the US because of fears that their switches and other gear could be used to spy on US citizens.
Embattled Chinese telecom giant Huawei has some new problems. The US Department of Justice on Monday unsealed a 13-count indictment against Huawei and its CFO, Meng Wanzhou, alleging the company misled banking partners about violations of US sanctions against Iran. The charges include bank fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, and obstruction of justice. Meng, who is also the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested in Canada last month and is awaiting extradition to the US. In a separate case, the DOJ indicted Huawei for stealing intellectual property related to a cell-phone-testing robot from T-Mobile in 2012.
The twin criminal indictments against Huawei unveiled by US authorities on Monday are packed with emails and financial transactions allegedly showing how the Chinese technology giant carried out criminal conspiracies. But the finer points of the 23 charges are less important than the overall shot they deliver across China's bows. The US considers Huawei to be an arm of the Chinese state – and their devices to be potential spying equipment for Beijing. Charges that Huawei illegally violated US sanctions on Iran hold the most symbolic significance. They allowed Kirstjen Nielsen, the homeland security secretary, to stress the company's activities had been "detrimental to the security of the United States".
The US has filed 10 trade secret-related charges and 13 linked to sanction violations against Chinese telecom Huawei. Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, FBI Director Christopher Wray, Homeland Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced the charges in a joint press conference Monday, which are likely to further deepen the tensions between the US and China. Prosecutors in Washington state say Huawei stole trade secrets from T-Mobile, and that it offered bonuses to employees who were successful in obtaining technology from rivals. The 13-count indictment in Brooklyn, New York claims the company and two affiliates committed bank fraud and violated sanctions when it carried out business with Iran. Engadget has contacted Huawei for comment.