U.S. criminally charges Huawei, its CFO and related units in 13 count indictment

U.S. criminally charges Huawei, its CFO and related units in 13 count indictment
After years of calling Chinese smartphone and network equipment manufacturer Huawei a threat to national security, the U.S. today announced a 13 count indictment against the company.  According to ABC News, Huawei, two of its affiliates (Huawei Device USA and Skycom Tech) along with CFO Meng Wanzhou were charged with committing various crimes. These indictments are related to the company's business dealings with Iran, a country under economic sanctions in the states. The U.S. Justice Department alleges that Huawei committed bank fraud and defrauded the U.S. government over its business with Iran.

More specifically, Huawei and Skycom were charged with bank fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. A grand jury in the Eastern District of New York returned charges of conspiracy to obstruct justice against Huawei and Huawei USA. Meng, the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, was charged with bank fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracies to commit bank and wire fraud.

In a separate indictment, the Justice Department charged Huawei with stealing trade secrets belonging to T-Mobile. Earlier this month, we told you that Huawei was being criminally investigated for stealing trade secrets related to "Tappy." The latter is a robotic technology used by the carrier to test phones, and T-Mobile won a $4.8 million judgment against Huawei in a civil case back in 2017.

Meng was arrested in Canada last month at the behest of the U.S. government, which issued an arrest warrant for the executive. After being nabbed in Vancouver, Canada, Meng posted a huge bail and awaits extradition to the U.S. Her next court appearance in Canada is scheduled for February 6th. Her arrest led to a wave of nationalism in China, with several companies threatening to fire any employee who buys an Apple iPhone, but promising to subsidize the purchase of a Huawei handset.

During the investigation, the FBI uncovered emails dated from 2013 from Huawei, promising to pay bonuses to employees who steal information from other companies around the world. Stolen information was to be sent to an encrypted email account used by Huawei.


The Chinese government was not the subject of any charges. But in the back of many U.S. lawmakers' minds, they worry that devices from Huawei contain back doors that spy on U.S. consumers and corporations and send that data to the communist government. When Meng's dad, Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, denied that the company uses its equipment and devices to spy, that statement still contained a sentence about his loyalty to the communist government.

Huawei is the second largest smartphone manufacturer in the world, and the global leader in providing networking equipment.

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16 Comments

1. darkkjedii

Posts: 30786; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Next, Trump will shut down the Govt, until he gets a wall around China.

2. Vancetastic

Posts: 746; Member since: May 17, 2017

I see what you did there...

3. wickedwilly

Posts: 539; Member since: Sep 19, 2018

I think Trump is scared that Chinese phones will have a serious effect on US manufactured ones. Whatever happened to free trade?

4. TechNeck

Posts: 642; Member since: Aug 29, 2014

This nationalism mindset that Trump is trying to enforce is more harmful to the tech industry than helpful.

6. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2249; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Why aren’t you blaming Congress too? Both Dems and Republicans voted earlier last year to reinstate the ZTE trade ban on a 85-10 basis. Both sides of the aisle are against the Chinese.

7. mahalo15

Posts: 64; Member since: Nov 30, 2018

Just so you know, not a single major phone companies manufactures phones in US. I guess common sense is not common these days.

5. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1153; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

So there's no proof of espionage by Huawei for the Chinese government. The most they have is allegations of an attempt to make deals with Iran, by a single person affiliated with Huawei and encouragement to do some corporate espionage which every large tech company does to some extent. That's weak at best.

8. mahalo15

Posts: 64; Member since: Nov 30, 2018

Only one country in the world in renowned for state sponsored corporate espionage and orchestrating Intellectual property theft all around the world. Other major developing countries like India, Indonesia, Vietnam and South Africa are never in IP theft news. Can you guess the country?

9. ullokey

Posts: 173; Member since: Jul 28, 2015

South Africa is a developing country?

12. mahalo15

Posts: 64; Member since: Nov 30, 2018

Home to the biggest slums of Africa with astounding gap between the rich and poor. Rape capital of the world and Google is your friend.

10. mootu

Posts: 1373; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

"Only one country in the world in renowned for state sponsored corporate espionage and orchestrating Intellectual property theft all around the world. " So you are describing the US? because outside the US thats the way you are though of but you forgot to add starting wars to gain control of other countries resources, or starting wars to depose democraticly elected leaders. It's all in the name of "national security" though.

11. mahalo15

Posts: 64; Member since: Nov 30, 2018

IP theft and US???? I would like to try the stuff you smoking, must be very good. So US starts wars so that justifies IP theft by China? Good Logic. BTW, at least US does not detain million of its citizens and put them in internment camps or detain human rights activists or disappear lawyers and professors that criticize govt policies or attack a peaceful Buddhist country and call it one of their province. Only one country does that. I bet you know the name because you probably live in it.

13. mootu

Posts: 1373; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

"IP theft and US???? I would like to try the stuff you smoking, must be very good." NSA stealing Huawei tech so it could install backdoors in Huawei networks to spy on foreign leaders, this came to light when the Snowden papers were released. Theres plenty more cases of IP infringements in those papers as well, all state sponsered. "BTW, at least US does not detain million of its citizens and put them in internment camps" Nope it just locks Mexican children in cages without their parents. It doen't need to lock it's own citizens in cages, just get the cops to put a bullet or 6 in them, especially if you are a minority. Also how many have been held in guantanamo without charge? "Only one country does that. I bet you know the name because you probably live in it." Wrong once again, i'm from the UK.

14. mahalo15

Posts: 64; Member since: Nov 30, 2018

NSA stealing Huawei tech LOL.... Huawei itself stole CISCO source code for their network equipment. You can google the lawsuit from early 2000's. Mexican children in cages vs Internment camps?? I guess you don't know the difference between own citizens and illegal immigrants (BTW I don't condone putting kids in cages and remember two wrongs don't make a right) You comparing notorious terrorists held in Guantanamo bay without charge with human rights activists, lawyers and university professors held in illegal detention in labour camps. Are you morally bankrupt? No ethics?

15. starche

Posts: 8; Member since: Jun 27, 2017

"BTW, at least US does not detain million of its citizens and put them in internment camps." Really? Go figure what happened to millions of US citizens Japan nationality during WW2. Do you want me to share few links or you know how to use Google? Or should I mention how many millions of Indians had been killed on American continent since 1492? The US problem is that Huawei is very technologically advanced and will be #1 is smartphone shipments either this year or next year the latest. Apple is down and Samsung is the next. Its's not the question "If?", it's a question "When?". But that is really peanuts. %G telecom equipment is the key here... P.S. I'm not from China too.

16. mahalo15

Posts: 64; Member since: Nov 30, 2018

Did trump killed those American Indians??? Who killed them?? Just so you know most early settlers in America were Europeans (French, Spanish & British), yes same Europe that is the Gold Standard of Human Rights these days. I'm talking about this day and age. If you're going to go back 70, 100 or 500 years or even caveman era then I don't think we can have a debate because nobody knew or cared about human rights then. If you going to justify present day barbaric and evil acts against own citizens giving examples from history then I really feel sorry for you.

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