Published: Thu, January 17, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

China's Huawei reportedly targeted in United States criminal investigation

China's Huawei reportedly targeted in United States criminal investigation

Now, a new report published this afternoon by The Wall Street Journal, reveals that Federal prosecutors are planning to start a criminal investigation of Huawei because of its alleged theft of T-Mobile's tech secrets. The report could not be immediately confirmed.

Back in 2014, T-Mobile was paying Huawei to produce phones for the carrier. This definitely puts even more pressure on the company whose high-ranking executives and employees are being arrested for one reason or another, some of them on behalf of the USA government.

The move is the latest in a long list of actions taken to fight what some in Washington call China's cheating through intellectual property theft, illegal corporate subsidies and rules hampering United States corporations that want to sell their goods in China.

A group of United States politicians want to ban the sale of U.S. technology components to Huawei, ZTE Corp or other Chinese telecommunications companies that violate USA sanctions or export laws.

In 2012, congressional committees and other US government entities criticized Huawei's "pattern of disregard for the intellectual property rights of other entities and companies in the U.S".

Huawei has always been suspected of benefitting from Chinese economic espionage and the forced transfer of technologies from foreign companies doing business in China.

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US President Donald Trump has also reportedly been considering a ban on Huawei.

The move would further escalate tensions between the USA and China after the arrest a year ago in Canada of Huawei's chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of the company's founder.

In addition to allegations of sanctions-busting and intellectual property theft, Washington has been pressing allies to refrain from buying Huawei's switches and other gear because of fears they will be used by Beijing for espionage.

Citing people familiar with the matter, the Journal said that one area of investigation is the technology behind a device that T-Mobile U.S. Inc used for testing smartphones. The carrier sought $500 million in damages; three years later, T-Mobile was awarded $4.8 million by a jury.

Huawei and the Department of Justice did not comment. T-Mobile security cameras even captured a Huawei employee disassembling part of "Tappy", and placing it into his laptop bag.

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