U.S. Accuses Chinese Telecom Company Of Trade Secrets Theft

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The Guardian: US charges Chinese telecoms giant with stealing trade secrets


Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications giant, was on Monday criminally charged by the US with stealing trade secrets, defrauding banks and obstructing justice.

Matthew Whitaker, the acting attorney general, said grand juries in Seattle and New York had indicted Huawei, its affiliates and its chief financial officer on 23 criminal charges. Whitaker said the criminal offending at Huawei went “all the way to the top of the company”.

Huawei is accused of stealing robot technology from T-Mobile for building smartphones. The company and its chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, are also accused of defrauding a bank to get around US economic sanctions on Iran.

Whitaker said Huawei had obstructed investigations by destroying evidence and moving potential witnesses back to China.

Meng, 46, who is the daughter of the company’s founder, was arrested in Canada on 1 December following a request by the US, which will now seek to extradite her.

The charges are likely to raise tensions between China and the US amid a trade war between the world’s two biggest economies.

Huawei has long been considered a cybersecurity risk by US authorities. The Trump administration has pressured American technology companies to not use Huawei components, and have asked allied governments to do the same.

The company, which is the world’s biggest manufacturer of telecommunications equipment, has consistently denied spying on behalf of the Chinese government.