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Huawei Charged By US Authorities With Conspiracy To Steal State Secrets, Racketeering

Huawei Charged By US Authorities With Conspiracy To Steal State Secrets, Racketeering

Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies Ltd. has been charged with conspiracy for racketeering and stealing trade secrets in the United States.

What Happened

The Department of Justice announced Thursday that a 16-count superseding indictment was returned by the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York a day earlier that charged Huawei along with two subsidiaries for conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).

The companies have also been indicted on charges of conspiracy to steal trade secrets, "stemming from the China-based company's alleged long-running practice of using fraud and deception to misappropriate sophisticated technology from U.S. counterparts," the justice department said.

The superseding indictment also includes the 13 charges, including committing bank and wire fraud, and violating U.S. sanctions on Iran, announced in January last year.

Huawei and its subsidiaries, both in the U.S. and China, made "decades-long efforts" to misappropriate the intellectual property, including from six U.S. technology companies, in an effort to grow and operate Huawei's business," the justice department has alleged.

"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."

The authorities also said that Huawei was "successful" in its efforts to "steal trade secrets and other sophisticated U.S. technology."

The company's representatives also lied about Skycom Tech Co. Ltd. not being a subsidiary of Huawei, according to the U.S. government.

An Attempt At Killing Competition, Huawei Says

In a statement early Friday, Huawei denied these allegations, stating that they are aimed at killing competition to U.S. companies.

"This new indictment is part of the Justice Department's attempt to irrevocably damage Huawei's reputation and its business for reasons related to competition rather than law enforcement," Huawei said in a statement.

"These new charges are without merit and are based largely on recycled civil disputes from the last 20 years that have been previously settled, litigated and, in some cases, rejected by federal judges and juries."

"The US government will not prevail with its charges, which we will prove to be both unfounded and unfair," it added.

Huawei has long been a target of the U.S. government, with President Donald Trump accusing it of spying on behalf of Beijing.

The governments have actively discouraged U.S. companies from working with Huawei with the Department of Commerce, putting it on the "entity list" in May last year.

Huawei continues to operate under a temporary general license, which has been continuously extended by the commerce department as a host of U.S. companies, especially rural carriers, remain reliant on the Chinese giant for their services.

Photo Credit: Public domain image via Wikimedia.


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