Huawei faces new charges of racketeering and trade secret theft

Justice Department slaps Huawei with new racketeering charges

US officials first charged Huawei in January 2019 and company's CFO Wanzhou Meng was arrested weeks after upon the request of USA administration by authorities in Canada, where she is still fighting her extradition to the U.S.

According to the 56-page indictment, Huawei is also accused of using its subsidiaries around the world to hide its dealings with Iran and North Korea, which are subject to United States sanctions.

Prosecutors said a company called Skycom, a telecom equipment vendor that acted as an unofficial subsidiary of Huawei, assisted the Iranian government in domestic surveillance during demonstrations in Tehran in 2009.

The new charges depict a company that won global standing by stealing trade secrets, evading U.S sanctions and lying to authorities.

Huawei is accused of stealing from at least six companies using various methods.

"Huawei's efforts to steal trade secrets and other sophisticated USA technology were successful", according to the statement, which said the company "obtained nonpublic intellectual property relating to internet router source code, cellular antenna technology and robotics" to gain an "unfair competitive advantage" over rivals.

In addition to accusing Huawei of lying about its operations in Iran, the latest indictment says Huawei falsely represented to banks that it had no business in North Korea.

There are no new charges against Meng in the superseding indictment. And in the US itself, the Federal Communications Commission has banned Huawei's products from being used in any government-subsidized networks.

The unified panic among United States lawmakers was mocked by a Chinese legislator, present at the event, who said their preoccupation with Huawei suggested American "democracy" could not be very durable if its very existence was threatened by a cell phone network.

"Employees were directed to post confidential information obtained from other companies on an internal HUAWEI website, or, in the case of especially sensitive information, to send an encrypted email to a special email mailbox", the indictment claims.

The alleged theft of trade secrets includes internet-router source code, cellular antenna technology and robotics.

On Thursday, Huawei Technologies rejected a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report claiming that the tech giant has a capability to extract data from mobile networks using "backdoors" in their 5G equipment.

Meng Wanzhou, its chief financial officer and the daughter of the company's founder, is still being held in Canada where she is fighting extradition to the US.

The U.S. Commerce Department in May put Huawei on a trade blacklist that restricted U.S. suppliers from selling parts and components to the company.

If Huawei employees were caught by law enforcement, the company had an official policy to blame "rogue low-level employees", the indictment alleges. The U.S. alleged that a Huawei engineer secretly took photos of T-Mobile's robot, Tappy, took measurements of parts and even stole a piece of it.

The Trump administration has spent months attempting to block Huawei's growth as a large seller of telecom network equipment and cell phones.



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