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13 Feb, 2020 19:32

US charges Huawei with RACKETEERING & attempting to steal American trade secrets

US charges Huawei with RACKETEERING & attempting to steal American trade secrets

The US Justice Department has issued a new indictment against China’s telecommunications giant that is likely to further strain relations between Beijing and Washington. Huawei is now accused of stealing American technologies.

The indictment filed in the federal court in Brooklyn, New York, states that Huawei conspired to steal trade secrets from as many as six US companies, including router source code, cellular antenna and robotics technologies.

The Justice Department says the actions were part of the company’s “decades-long” practice of “misappropriating” sophisticated US technologies through “fraud and deception.”

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The DoJ indictment claims that Huawei uses confidential agreements with US companies to access their trade secrets and use them to the company’s own benefit.

In one example, the Chinese tech giant is accused of sealing the source code for an unnamed company's routers and using that code in its own products. The indictment also accuses a Huawei employee of surreptitiously taking photographs in the middle of the night of the circuitry of a device on display at a trade show.

The DoJ also claims Huawei ran a program financially rewarding employees who managed to steal confidential information from its competitors.

The fresh charges against the Chinese telecommunications behemoth come amid the ongoing pressure and intimidation campaign by Washington aimed at discouraging its allies from using Huawei’s technology in developing ultra-fast 5G mobile networks.

While the Trump administration insists that the company poses a “security risk” due to its supposed affiliation with Beijing, many of Washington’s allies – including the UK, India, Portugal and the EU – have defied the US fear-mongering, providing Huawei access to their markets. The Chinese company itself has denied all the allegations, accusing the US of unfair competition.

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Apart from laying out new accusations against Huawei, the indictment adds 16 counts of conspiracy to the trade secrets and racketing charges against Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, who is currently fighting the US extradition request in Canada. Meng was arrested at Vancouver International Airport in December 2018 at the US behest, as Beijing and Washington were at the height of their trade war back-and-forth. She was accused of defrauding financial institutions and lying in an attempt to circumvent US sanctions against Iran.

While US President Donald Trump formally banned Huawei tech from the US market back in May last year, the US Commerce Department has since repeatedly extended temporary general license, allowing the company to buy components from its US-based supplies. On Thursday, the department greenlighted yet another extension, to expire on April 1.

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