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US court raises new accusations against Huawei of stealing trade secrets

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — The US judiciary has ratcheted up pressure on the Chinese telecom giant, Huawei, after filing new charges against the company Thursday, while the fate of the heir to the group placed in house arrest in Canada remains unknown.

Brooklyn Federal Prosecutor Richard Dunhyue has filed new charges with Huawei for stealing trade secrets and circumventing US sanctions against North Korea, adding to prosecutions launched in early 2019 for violating US sanctions on Iran.

The Chinese telecom giant said the accusations were “unfair and unfounded”, accusing US prosecutors of trying to “damage the reputation of Huawei and its activities for competitive reasons instead of respecting the law.”

The group added in a statement issued by it that these new accusations are nothing but “a reformulation of previous accusations dating back about 20 years and which have not been confirmed for use in the conviction of Huawei.”

As in the previous indictment, the company’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, is mentioned in the new charges, but without additional charges being brought against them, knowing that Wanzhou, the daughter of the founder of “Huawei”, is currently placed in house arrest in Vancouver, Canada, after being accused of violating the US sanctions imposed on Iran. December 2018.

More than a year after her arrest, the Canadian authorities have not yet issued any decisions regarding her extradition to the United States.

In addition, a spokesperson for the Federal Prosecutor refused to answer the question of Agence France-Presse whether these new charges would raise the possibilities of extradition.

On Friday, Beijing condemned “economic harassment” against “Huawei,” and spokesperson for Chinese diplomat Ging Shuang said, “We ask the United States to immediately stop the persecution and suppression of Chinese companies for no reason.”

Spy suspicions

The accusations of the US President Donald Trump’s administration with Huawei, which is the largest telecommunications company in the world, come against the backdrop of the trade war between the United States and China, while stressing the possibility that the group will spy for the Chinese government.

The United States has called on many countries to stop using the infrastructure of Huawei, which is dedicated to the deployment of the 5G network.

The Chinese group was also put on the blacklist in May 2019, forcing American companies and residents in the United States to work with other suppliers to secure communications equipment and equipment.

As for the rural areas that were unable to secure alternatives for “Huawei”, the American administration dealt with them in a different way, as it issued a temporary license in favor of “Huawei” that allows them to provide American companies in these areas with the necessary equipment, in order to give them more time to secure an alternative.

The validity of the temporary license was renewed for a period of 90 days in November, and a second time Thursday for a period of 45 days ending on the first of next April.

– Take pictures during the night –

Federal Prosecutor Richard Donahue reports that Huawei and its subsidiaries were involved in the theft of trade secrets between 2000 and 2020.

The company is accused of trying to employ workers in American telecom companies in order to obtain technological information from them, which allowed it to develop similar products at low and competitive prices.

Among the examples mentioned in the new indictment, it is indicated that in the year 2004 and during an exhibition in Chicago, a “Huawei” employee was caught in the middle of the night taking pictures of the servers of a competing company after its dismantling.

The Chinese company claimed that he was a junior employee who went to the exhibition on his own initiative, although his CV indicates that he is a senior R&D engineer.

The indictment also stated that in 2013 Huawei launched an internal program offering rewards to employees who obtain commercial secrets from competitors.

In the new document, the attorney general emphasized that the Chinese company has “a lot of telecommunications projects” in North Korea, although a director in 2012 under oath under a US parliamentary committee confirmed that the company had no activities in North Korea.

In total, the new indictment includes 16 charges, including 3 new charges only, knowing that the company rejected the first 13 charges last March.

These charges were brought against five companies, all of them belonging to “Huawei”, and Meng Wanzhou and other group managers who have not yet been interrogated.

In a separate case, at the end of January 2019, two Huawei subsidiaries (Huawei Device USA and Huawei Device Limited) in Washington state were charged with forming a criminal gang for the purpose of stealing trade secrets.

The two companies rejected the charges during their interrogation in late February 2019 before the federal judge in Seattle, with a trial to begin on October 19.

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This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.

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