US charges Huawei with stealing trade secrets and violating sanctions

Prosecutors say that Huawei stole trade secrets from T-Mobile, and that it offered bonuses to employees who were successful in obtaining technology from rivals. They also claim the company and two affiliates committed bank fraud and violated sanctions when it carried out business with Iran. Engadget has contacted Huawei for comment.


In 2017, a jury awarded T-Mobile $4.8 million in a suit against Huawei — it claimed the Chinese company stole parts from “Tappy,” a robot that simulates smartphone use. Last month, Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada last month for allegedly committing fraud to bypass Iran sanctions. She was released on bail, though faces extradition to the US after she was charged in Monday’s indictments.

There are signs elsewhere that the US-China trade issue may rumble on, particularly with regards to telecoms. Earlier this month, congresspeople and senators introduced bills that seek to enforce export bans on Chinese telecoms convicted of violating US sanctions and export laws. One of the bills’ co-sponsors said the likes of Huawei and ZTE are growing threats to US national security.

Meanwhile, US and Chinese officials are scheduled to meet this week to work on a deal that could end a tariff war between the two nations. It’s unclear if or how the Huawei charges will affect the talks, though Ross claimed the charges are “wholly separate from trade negotiations.”

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