US accuses Huawei of stealing trade secrets, dealing with North Korea
New York - US prosecutors on Thursday
added trade secret theft charges to their bank fraud case
against Chinese smartphone maker Huawei Technologies Co
, further escalating the US battle with the world's
largest telecommunications equipment maker.
The new indictment, which supersedes one from last year, was
filed in federal court in Brooklyn, New York and charges Huawei
with conspiring to steal trade secrets from six US technology
companies and to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt
Organizations Act (RICO).
It also contains new allegations about the company's
involvement in countries subject to sanctions, such as Iran and
"The indictment paints a damning portrait of an illegitimate
organisation that lacks any regard for the law," US Senate
Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr and vice chairman
Mark Warner said in a joint statement.
The Republican and Democratic Senators called it "an
important step in combating Huawei's state-directed and criminal
Huawei declined to comment.
It pleaded not guilty to the indictment unsealed against the
company in January 2019, which charged it with bank and wire
fraud, violating sanctions against Iran, and obstructing
Its chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou was arrested in
December 2018 in Canada on charges in that indictment. She has
said she is innocent and is fighting extradition.
In the earlier indictment, Meng and Huawei are accused of
conspiring to defraud HSBC and other banks by misrepresenting
Huawei's relationship with a company that operated in Iran.
There are no new charges against Meng in the superseding
The new trade secret theft charges relate to internet router
source code, cellular antenna technology, and robotics.
For example, beginning in 2000, Huawei and its subsidiary
Futurewei are accused of misappropriating operating system
source code for internet routers, commands used to communicate
with the routers, and operating system manuals, from an
unidentified company in Northern California.
The company then sold their routers in the United States as
lower cost versions of the US company's products, the
Huawei is also accused of recruiting employees from other
companies, making efforts to get intellectual property from
those companies, and using professors at research institutions
to obtain technology.
In November, the Federal Communications Commission voted to
bar US rural wireless carriers from tapping an $8.5 billion
government fund to purchase equipment or services from Huawei.
US Attorney General William Barr said the same month that
Huawei "cannot be trusted." Last week, Barr suggested the United
States consider taking control of two major foreign rivals of