U.S. charges Huawei in technology theft, sanctions violations

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The Department of Justice charged Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Monday on several counts of fraud as U.S. President Donald Trump applies more pressure on China's beleaguered economy.

A 13-count indictment was unsealed Monday in NY charging Huawei, two of its affiliates and a top executive at the company. The charges follow the December 1 arrest of Huawei CFO Wanzhou Meng, who faces the possibility of decades in jail.

Specifically, 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, according to the DOJ.

He also expressed his concern about Huawei devices in USA telecommunications networks.

Meng was arrested in Canada last month at the behest of the USA government, which issued an arrest warrant for the executive. According to Homeland Department Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Huawei and Meng "have engaged in a fraudulent financial scheme that is detrimental to the security of the United States".

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Rather than being the work of one or two rogue actors, Whitaker said the alleged conduct bore the hallmarks of "corporate-sponsored behaviour" that was directed as company policy.

He reaffirmed that the U.S.is seeking extradition of Meng and would formally file for the extradition by Tuesday, Canada's deadline. In response to a question, Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker stated that the Mueller investigation is "close to being completed".

That plot appeared to thicken Monday when, less than an hour before the Department of Justice news conference was to begin, the White House announced that its team of high-level economic advisers would meet a delegation from China on Wednesday for two days of trade talks.

"As you can tell from the number and magnitude of the charges, Huawei and its senior executives repeatedly refused to respect United States law and standard worldwide business practices", said FBI Director Chris Wray. A jury in Seattle ruled that Huawei had misappropriated the robotic technology from T-Mobile's lab in Washington state. Meng is free in Vancouver, staying at her $4.2 million mansion with Global Positioning System monitoring, after posting bail of $10 million as she fights extradition to the U.S.to face criminal charges.

The arrest of Meng, who is the daughter of Huawei's founder, Ren Zhengfei, ratcheted up tensions with China, which responded by arresting two Canadians on national security grounds.

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