U.S. prosecutors investigate Huawei over its alleged theft of trade secrets

U.S. prosecutors investigate Huawei over its alleged theft of trade secrets
Back in January, the U.S. Justice Department issued a 13 charge indictment against Huawei related to business that the company did with Iran. The country was under economic sanctions in the U.S. and Huawei, two of its affiliates (Huawei Device USA and Skycom Tech) and CFO Meng Wanzhou were charged with committing various crimes including bank fraud. The company was also criminally charged with stealing technology belonging to a phone testing robot from T-Mobile called "Tappy." Huawei previously lost a civil suit over this matter and was ordered to pay the wireless operator $4.8 million.

Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. prosecutors are investigating claims that Huawei stole intellectual property from "multiple people and companies" over the last few years. In addition, there are questions related to how the Chinese manufacturer poached employees from rival companies. The report says that the new investigation covers parts of Huawei's businesses that weren't covered during the earlier probe. Back in May, the newspaper listed a number of illegal acts committed by Huawei, including the theft of smartphone camera technology from a company in Portugal. Huawei defends its reputation when it comes to intellectual property and notes that it has had its own IP stolen. "We respect the integrity of intellectual property rights—for our own business, as well as peer, partner, and competitor companies," the company said. A few months ago, the firm's Chief Legal Officer said that it was never found to have acted maliciously in any case where it was accused of stealing trade secrets.

The investigation has nothing to do with Huawei's placement on the Entity List and the ban that prevents it from accessing its U.S. supply chain


Huawei is currently on the U.S. Commerce Department's Entity List which prevents it from accessing its U.S. supply chain; the big news this week is that the outfit's most advanced smartphone series, the Mate 30, will be forced to launch without the Google Play service version of Android installed. This means that core Google apps and the Google Play Store will not appear on any of the Mate 30 line. The company already said that it won't use its own HarmonyOS on high-end units and might have to resort to using an open-source version of Android for these handsets. This would be similar to the forked version of the operating system employed by Amazon for its Fire tablets and 2014's Fire Phone.


The previous charges against Huawei and the new investigation have nothing to do with Huawei's placement on the Entity List. The company received this dubious "honor" because the communist Chinese government can call on it anytime to gather intelligence. This had led to rumors over the years-always denied by the company-that its phones, tablets and networking gear contain backdoors just waiting for the word to send information to Beijing. As a result, Huawei is considered a national security threat in the United States. This seems quite similar to the company's Bonus system which U.S. authorities are said to be taking a hard look at. Under this policy, which started in 2013, Huawei employees were given "a special Huawei encrypted internal email address" and told to use it to send information they collected on the competition to earn bonuses. Huawei's employees were notified by the firm that it was their responsibility to get this information.

Huawei is the world's second-largest smartphone manufacturer and is the global leader in providing networking equipment. The U.S. has warned its allies not to use Huawei's gear to build out their 5G networks, although many of the largest countries in Europe are not heeding this warning.

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26 Comments

1. aegislash

Posts: 1531; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

Lol. After the pleasant experience I had with my Honor 8 (and it’s ultra sexy FLUSH dual camera, something no on else can seem to do), I have praise for Huawei.

4. meanestgenius

Posts: 22470; Member since: May 28, 2014

Aegislash, I still enjoy using my Honor View 10 and Mate 10 Pro. So much so that I’m looking to get a Huawei Mate 20 Pro, P30’s Pro or Honor 20 Pro soon.

6. dimas

Posts: 3414; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

So you think a corporation is clean and non-threat because you have a good experience with their product? Ain't you one gullible fanboy, eh? I use samsung and sony products but i do think they are assholes sometimes and I dont't treat them like gods. You should stop worshipping phone makers.

11. meanestgenius

Posts: 22470; Member since: May 28, 2014

No one said any of what you assumed. You should actually try and comprehend what someone is saying, as opposed to making false accusations and assumptions that show that reading comprehension isn’t your strong suit.

25. Venom

Posts: 3821; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

Say it again louder so the Huawei apologists can hear you clearly. It's ok to like a phone, I guess even if it's full of stolen ideas and features found on much better phones. Huawei isn't clean at all and it's laughable that the Huawei apologists believe otherwise.

31. meanestgenius

Posts: 22470; Member since: May 28, 2014

Going by your logic of "stolen ideas and features", without any solid evidence to prove so, I guess that means Steve Jobs was right when he said Android is a "stolen product", and you champion the smartphone line of said stolen product. No one said anything about Huawei being clean, but there has yet to be concrete proof that says they are guilty. You just like being spoonfed anything the U.S. says.

38. tedkord

Posts: 17463; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

If anybody knew what stolen ideas looked like, it was Steve Jobs. He built an entire company on stolen ideas.

80. jamesgam7

Posts: 16; Member since: Mar 20, 2015

Samsung's edge design anyone? Yes there's proof. You sound like a fan boy m8.

50. BL4NKF4CE

Posts: 150; Member since: Aug 06, 2017

No major company is clean.

43. janb0506

Posts: 2; Member since: Aug 31, 2019

US is just like a crying losing dumb kid, over-dramatic about this. Every single large company is not clean, most dirtier than Huawei. HSBC were money laundering for Drug cartel, only fined 1.9B and operating in US just fine; Samsung were sued by Apple for patent violation; Google sued by Oracle for blatant copyright and patent stealing; all these companies sued for poaching employees, coordinated no-compete salary fixing, and stealing trade secrets, price fixing, ... When it comes to Huawei, which is on the cusp of becoming the world-dominant telecom, mobile device and OS R&D and supplier, US is just getting frustrated and a lazy kid with low grade--in stead of fixing its own talent problem (see the proportion of non-US born talents in US high tech company: >70%)--it's finding all the excuses biting left and right. I'm fine with all the legal cases, which are not uncommon for a company of this size. But the banning and entity list is such a ridiculous symptom showing US weakness: if I cannot win, I ban you.

3. meanestgenius

Posts: 22470; Member since: May 28, 2014

Where are you, obsessive Apple red herring troll that thinks that current iPhones don’t have a notch...oh wait, you’re here already, lol.

7. airoid

Posts: 132; Member since: Dec 13, 2016

Perhaps they should partner with Amazon so they can use FireOS haha.

8. AlienKiss

Posts: 260; Member since: May 21, 2019

Who cares? Nobody that reads the news and has a bit of technical knowledge trusts them anymore. In my circle of friends some had huawei phones, but since the ban happened, they all sold their phones. Now everyone has Apple or Samsung. We're from Europe btw.

9. alanrock

Posts: 326; Member since: Oct 04, 2018

only Huawei for me , you can keep the rest , also calling from Europe.

12. meanestgenius

Posts: 22470; Member since: May 28, 2014

Love using Huawei smartphones, and I also have technical knowledge. I have less trust in their accusers than I do them.

14. alanrock

Posts: 326; Member since: Oct 04, 2018

being on badass list just makes Huawei even more awesome for me , ain't gonna cry or start to eat tofu coz of some fake "investigation" and sh*t ...

17. meanestgenius

Posts: 22470; Member since: May 28, 2014

Exactly. Totally agree.

28. ScottsoNJ56

Posts: 132; Member since: Oct 01, 2017

Fake investigation? you mean fake like in their os that is supposed to be so fast that they don't have

26. Venom

Posts: 3821; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

I don't think you can have technical expertise without knowing that LTE is a GSM based standard. Hmm.

33. meanestgenius

Posts: 22470; Member since: May 28, 2014

I know you don't have technical expertise since you don't know that LTE came from GSM technologies, and since you don't even know what SoC smartphones that you say you've owned use.

10. meanestgenius

Posts: 22470; Member since: May 28, 2014

There’s only one clown here, and it’s the one that thinks that iPhones don’t have notches lmao.

16. meanestgenius

Posts: 22470; Member since: May 28, 2014

Tell us more, obsessive red herring fruit troll, tell us the iPhone doesn’t have a notch when it actually does. We would all like to keep laughing.

34. meanestgenius

Posts: 22470; Member since: May 28, 2014

Yeah, "iPhones really are the worse." Now let's get back to how the latest iPhones don't have notches when they actually do have notches, lol.

42. janb0506

Posts: 2; Member since: Aug 31, 2019

US is just like a crying losing dumb kid, over-dramatic about this. Every single large company is not clean, most dirtier than Huawei. HSBC were money laundering for Drug cartel, only fined 1.9B and operating in US just fine; Samsung were sued by Apple for patent violation; Google sued by Oracle for blatant copyright and patent stealing; all these companies sued for poaching employees, coordinated no-compete salary fixing, and stealing trade secrets, price fixing, ... When it comes to Huawei, which is on the cusp of becoming the world-dominant telecom, mobile device and OS R&D and supplier, US is just getting frustrated and a lazy kid with low grade--in stead of fixing its own talent problem (see the proportion of non-US born talents in US high tech company: >70%)--it's finding all the excuses biting left and right. I'm fine with all the legal cases, which are not uncommon for a company of this size. But the banning and entity list is such a ridiculous symptom showing US weakness: if I cannot win, I ban you.

51. geordie8t1

Posts: 314; Member since: Nov 16, 2015

im keen to find out what stolen secrets they are accused of this time, talk about witch hunt from the fat yanks, almost all of their tech is NOT in any other phone, especially in any crappel based american/chinese product, I see no comparisons to my Samsung note 10+ either, and if it wasnt for their file system, I would be using a Huawei still, my mate 20x was brilliant, and p30 pro was next level

68. SmartPhoneMobiles

Posts: 188; Member since: Oct 16, 2016

u fkin usa ppl u are disgusting in the world if i have power I would wipe all business from usa and would make it poor country .. you destroying huawei in every aspect bcos u so scared.. but hope there will be 1000x or million brand will devour usa .. hate how when someone else is successful they start jealous and envy . This must end this their monopoly

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