Huawei: US charges Chinese telecoms giant with stealing trade secrets

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Meanwhile, a grand jury in NY has also returned an indictment alleging 13 crimes committed by Huawei, its CFO, an affiliate in Iran and one of its subsidiaries in the US.

The day of reckoning has come for Huawei, as the U.S. Justice Department has unsealed a 13-count indictment against the world's largest telecommunications equipment manager.

Senior officials of the Trump administration gathered at the Department of Justice in Washington to announce criminal indictments against Huawei, the largest Chinese smartphone maker; its U.S. affiliate; the Hong Kong-based Skycom; and Meng Wanzhou, Huawei's chief financial officer, for conspiracy that poses a national security threat to the US.

In the NY indictment, prosecutors noted that Huawei used its affiliate, Skycom Tech Co.

The charges follow the December 1 arrest of Huawei CFO Wanzhou Meng, who faces the possibility of decades in jail.

The defendants Huawei and Skycom are charged with bank fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and conspiracy to violate IEEPA, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

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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. She has been detained in Vancouver, British Columbia, since on bank fraud charges related to USA sanctions law on Iran.

Huawei has been the target of a broad US crackdown, including allegations it sold telecommunications equipment that could be used by China's Communist Party for spying.

He reaffirmed that the U.S.is seeking extradition of Meng and would formally file for the extradition by Tuesday, Canada's deadline.

The top USA law enforcement officials, including acting attorney general Matthew G. Whitaker and FBI Director Christopher A. Wray, held a news conference in Washington to announce the charges.

"As a country we have to carefully consider the risks a company like Huawei will impose on our national security", he said. Huawei has been working to displace Samsung as the biggest smartphone maker in the world, while at the same time the United States has been aggressively working to convince allies to ban use of Huawei technology over fears that the company's close ties to China's central government mean the company's devices could be used to spy on consumers.

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