US Huawei Charges

The U.S. Department of Justice has announced at a press conference that it is pursuing criminal charges against Chinese mobile giant Huawei and its Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou.

The charges against the world’s second largest smartphone maker include bank fraud, obstruction of justice and theft of technology. A grand jury in Seattle has charged Huawei with conspiracy to steal trade secrets, attempted theft of trade secrets, seven counts of wire fraud and one count of obstruction of justice for the company’s alleged attempts to move potential witnesses back to China.

The indictments grew out of a civil suit dating way back to 2014 in which T-Mobile sued Huawei for stealing trade secrets related to a robotic phone-testing device known as “Tappy.” The case could increase tensions between China and the US and could have a severe impact on the firm’s global expansion plans.

Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada last month at the request of the US for allegedly evading sanctions on Iran. In a statement, Huawei rejected the charges, saying it didn’t commit “any of the asserted violations” and that it “is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms Meng”.

Huawei is one of the largest telecommunications equipment and services providers in the world. It recently passed Apple to become the second biggest smartphone maker by volume, just behind Samsung. However, USA and other Western countries are concerned that the Chinese government could use Huawei’s technology to expand its spying abilities.

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