US Charges Huawei With Conspiracy to Steal Trade Secrets, Racketeering


The case comes as the Trump administration is raising national security concerns about Huawei, the world's largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer, and is lobbying Western allies against including the company in wireless, high-speed networks.

The Department of Justice said: "Huawei's efforts to steal trade secrets and other sophisticated United States technology were successful".

Those accused Huawei of violating United States sanctions and stealing technology from T-Mobile - claims it denies.

As revealed by the government's independent investigation and review of court filings, the new charges in this case relate to the alleged decades-long efforts by Huawei, and several of its subsidiaries, both in the USA and in the People's Republic of China, to misappropriate intellectual property, including from six US technology companies, in an effort to grow and operate Huawei's business.

The indictment names Huawei and several subsidiaries, as well as the company's chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, who has been arrested in Canada over a related probe into Huawei's violations of U.S. sanctions.

The allegations range from run-of-the-mill IP theft - such as entering into an NDA licensing deal with an antenna operator and then breaking the agreement by using technology for their own products and hiring away their key staff - to rather brazen industrial espionage acts like sneaking into a company's lab to steal robotics hardware.

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Huawei is accused of recruiting employees of other companies and "directing them to misappropriate their former employers' intellectual property".

The Department of Justice said internal documents showed that the company referred to the sanctioned countries using code names, such as "A2" for Iran, and "A9" for North Korea, in what prosecutors said reflected the "inherent sensitivity" of this business.

"The indictment paints a damning portrait of an illegitimate organization that lacks any regard for the law", the lawmakers said in a joint statement.

Citing at least some cases that have come to light previously, the new indictment says Huawei violated confidentiality agreements, recruited rival companies' employees and used professors and other proxies at research institutions to pilfer manuals, source code and other secrets.

"As a effect of its campaign to steal this technology and intellectual property, Huawei was able to drastically cut its research and development costs and associated delays, giving the company a significant and unfair competitive advantage".

"Intellectual property theft, corporate sabotage, and market manipulation are part of Huawei's core ethos and reflected in every aspect of how it conducts business".