US officially files criminal charges against Huawei

US officially files criminal charges against Huawei

The war between Washington and the Chinese telecommunications giant, Huawei, is intensifying. Shortly before the start of the next round of trade talks between China and the US, official charges against Huawei have been filed. The accusations: espionage, bank fraud and breach of sanctions in Iran.

In the indictment from the US Department of Justice, there are a total of 13 charges against Huawei, as well as Meng Wanzhou, CFO and daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei, and two subsidiaries. Two other Huawei subsidiaries are charged with ten more counts, including industrial espionage.

According to the US authorities, Huawei is said to have conducted business with Iran between 2007 and 2017 in violation of US sanctions. Meng had "repeatedly lied" in connection with the investigations. The industrial espionage charge is mainly about a robot called "Tappy", developed by T-Mobile to test smartphones. Huawei engineers are said to have photographed it, measured it and stolen a component. However, the two parties had already settled this matter years ago. Both Meng and Huawei deny the allegations.

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Meng Whanzou, the daughter of the Huawei founder, is still being held in Canada. / © Huawei

Huawei is under pressure

In a first statement, Huawei is disappointed by the current indictment. The Chinese company is relaxed, however. The current points have already been the subject of a civil lawsuit in which a court in Seattle handed down a positive verdict for Huawei. No US law has been broken and there is no doubt that the courts will decide the same in the end.

As relaxed and self-confident as it may sound, Huawei is under pressure, and not only in the US. In many western countries, the Chinese company's commitment to network infrastructure is being put to the test, which can quickly lead to a domino effect. So far, however, all these considerations and reactions have not been based on proven facts, at least not on those made available to the public.

In total, the US has filed 23 charges against Huawei to date.

Is Huawei now in serious trouble, or is all this just a big show? How do you think this will pan out?

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  • Gavin Runeblade Jan 29, 2019 Link to comment

    It will be interesting to see if there is any evidence about the espionage side of this issue.