Huawei hit with criminal charges over tech 'theft'

Huawei hit with criminal charges over tech 'theft'

Huawei hit with criminal charges over tech 'theft'

The US Justice Department has filed a host of criminal charges against Chinese telecoms giant Huawei and its chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou.

"Criminals and bad actors can be certain that they are not going to get away", Whitaker said. Meng, who is now released on bail in Canada and faces extradition to the United States, is listed as a defendant, alongside parent company Huawei and two of its subsidiaries, Huawei USA and Skycom.

Charges include bank and wire fraud, conspiracy and violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. China detained two Canadians shortly after Meng's arrest in an apparent attempt to pressure Canada to release her.

"For years, Chinese firms have broken our export laws and undermined sanctions, often using the USA financial system to facilitate their illegal activities", Wilbur Ross, the commerce secretary, said.

United States prosecutors allege that Huawei used a Hong Kong shell company called Skycom to sell equipment in violation of the sanctions, and Ms Meng allegedly misled USA banks into believing the two companies were separate, according to the Justice Department.

The charges add heat to the scrutiny Huawei already faces in the West over allegations that its products could be exploited by Beijing for spying-an allegation the company has repeatedly denied.

When T-Mobile's civil suit was filed in 2014, a U.S. Huawei spokesman blamed the episode on "two Huawei employees acting inappropriately in their zeal to better understand the customer's quality testing requirements", and said they had been fired.

In a second set of charges, the Justice Department said the company had attempted to steal technology from the USA telecoms network T-Mobile.

Secretary Nielsen said that Huawei's behaviour wasn't "just illegal but also detrimental to the national security of the US" and that the U.S. would "not tolerate a regime that supports terrorism".

Video of the press conference is also available below.

Due to alleged "misrepresentations by Huawei", the Department of Justice claims that U.S. banks maintained banking relationships with Huawei, and that these banks could have suffered criminal and civil penalties for processing transactions that were in violation of United States regulations and law.

"For years, Chinese firms have broken our export laws and undermined sanctions, often using US financial systems to facilitate their illegal activities", Ross said.

The indictments have been unsealed and things are definitely not looking rosy for Huawei in the US.

Mr Whitaker said Huawei had lied to the U.S. government to obstruct investigations, moved potential witnesses back to China, and misled banks to continue to process transactions.

The Justice Department views Meng's criminal case as separate from the trade issues. After the charges were unveiled, Democratic Sen. "It has been clear for some time that Huawei poses a threat to our national security, and I applaud the Trump Administration for taking steps to finally hold the company accountable", Warner wrote in a statement.

Warner has been active in congressional efforts to address technology threats from China, and introduced a bill in January to create a White House office to fight state-sponsored technology theft and defend critical supply chains.

In addition, a 13-count indictment charged four defendants, including Huawei and its chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, with financial fraud.

The U.S.is asking that the Canadian authorities extradite Meng.

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