Published: Thu, February 13, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

US Charges Huawei With Conspiracy to Steal Trade Secrets, Racketeering

US Charges Huawei With Conspiracy to Steal Trade Secrets, Racketeering

The announcement of new charges in addition to the former criminal accusations, comes just weeks after Boris Johnson's government defied USA warnings against Britain's partnership with Huawei and announced that the Chinese company would serve as a supplier to create a new 5G network.

Huawei has been accused of stealing trade secrets and lying to US federal investigators in a new indictment that is likely to deepen US-UK tensions over a recent move by the British government to allow the Chinese company to supply 5G equipment for a new network.

It pleaded not guilty a year ago to an indictment unsealed against the company in January 2019, charging it with bank and wire fraud, violating sanctions against Iran, and obstructing justice.

Huawei, one of the largest tech firms and a major telecom equipment maker, has been blacklisted by Washington amid concerns over its ties to the Chinese government and intelligence services.

The company did not immediately respond to an AFP inquiry.

The misappropriated intellectual property included trade secret information and copyrighted works, such as source code and user manuals for internet routers, antenna technology and robot testing technology.

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Only a few days after it was revealed that the Department of Justice charged Chinese military hackers with the 2017 Equifax breach, the DOJ has handed down a massive superseding indictment against Chinese telecommunications conglomerate Huawei.

According to the indictment, Huawei entered into confidentiality agreements with U.S. tech firms and then violated those deals.

The superseding 16-count indictment also alleges that the company has been involved in business and technology projects in sanctioned countries, such as North Korea and Iran. -China trade war and debate about the firm's role in next-generation wireless networks.

Meng was arrested in Vancouver airport in December 2018, and remains on bail in Canada where she is fighting extradition to the US.

The earlier charges against Meng allege she lied to the HSBC bank about Huawei's relationship with its Iran-based affiliate Skycom, putting the bank at risk of violating United States sanctions against Tehran.

The indictment also claims Huawei used "proxies" such as professors working at research institutions to steal trade secrets and "launched a policy instituting a bonus programme to reward employees who obtained confidential information from competitors". "It uses these tactics indiscriminately against competitors and collaborators alike".

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