The Department of Justice (DOJ) unveiled criminal charges against Huawei Technologies Co. and its chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, accusing the largest telecommunications firm in China of stealing trade secrets, committing wire fraud, breaking confidentiality agreements and violating sanctions against Iran. The indictment is available here and below.
A 10-count indictment in Washington state accused the company of stealing trade secrets from T-Mobile USA Inc. and offering bonuses to employees who succeeded in getting technology from rivals.
Acting US Attorney-General Matthew Whitaker said the extradition request would be sent by a Jan 30 deadline.
Whitaker and Wray were joined by Department of Homeland (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and several USA attorneys for the announcement at DOJ headquarters. Huawei has said the two companies settled their dispute in 2017.
They claimed that Huawei had sold its stake in Skycom - a sale the USA alleges was "orchestrated.to appear as an arm's-length transaction between two unrelated parties, when in fact Huawei actually controlled the company that purchased Skycom".
Since Meng's arrest, multiple Canadians have been arrested or detained in China, including a former diplomat and a businessman who have been accused of spying.
Meng in particular "repeatedly lied" to bankers about the relationships between the companies, especially with Skycom, a Huawei affiliate in Iran, according to the charges. Skycom is a Huawei subsidiary that does business in Iran, but the Chinese company had made claims that it sold its ownership of the company to not violate US laws.
The U.S. Department of Justice has announced 13 criminal charges against the Chinese telecom giant Huawei, its CFO Meng Wangzhou, and its affiliates in the U.S. and Hong Kong.
At the heart of the case against Huawei is the claim that the company misled regulators about its business dealings with Iran, with Meng allegedly playing a key role in that effort.
Charges include bank and wire fraud, conspiracy and violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.
The federal crimes are linked to a 2013 incident in which Huawei allegedly stole trade secrets about a robot named "Tappy" that was built by T-Mobile and used in testing smartphones.
Huawei did not respond to requests for comments on the charges.
The two court cases against Huawei come as the Trump administration has pushed a trade war against China, imposing tariffs on a number of goods.
US Commerce Sercetary Wilbur Ross insists the Huawei cases are "wholly separate" from trade negotiatons.
The officials provided details from a 10-count grand jury indictment in Seattle, and a separate 13-count case from prosecutors in the Eastern District of NY.