United States charges Huawei with fraud, China tensions escalate

29 January, 2019, 05:02 | Author: Kevin Carter
  • Banning Huawei could damage 5G development

The indictment is available here and below.

Two Huawei affiliates were accused of ten crimes over an alleged attempt to steal information about a robot used to test mobile phones at the American firm T-Mobile, the USA justice department said.

"Huawei and its senior executives repeatedly refused to respect US law" by misleading banks about the company's business and violating USA sanctions, FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a news conference Monday. In response to a question, Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker stated that the Mueller investigation is "close to being completed". In one of the two indictments, the Justice Department prosecutors accuse Huawei employees, including CFO Meng Wanzhou, of fraud.

The charges come as the two countries' leaders seek to end their months-long trade war and with China's lead trade negotiator, Liu He, scheduled to meet with us officials in Washington in coming days.

"Both sets of charges expose Huawei's brazen and persistent actions to exploit American companies and financial institutions, and to threaten the free and fair global marketplace", Wray said.

Meng was arrested in early December 2018 by Canadian authorities at the request of the U.S. over allegations that she had committed fraud in sidestepping sanctions. She was detained in Vancouver at the beginning of December but was released on bail a week after her arrest.

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U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the Trump administration is cracking down on those who violate trade sanctions. Further, as part of an investigation in the Eastern District of New York, Huawei and its US subsidiary are charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Huawei did not immediately respond to Gizmodo's request for comment on the charges and related allegations.

In the indictment filed in Seattle, the government alleged Huawei violated confidentiality agreements with T-mobile in an effort to build their own robot to test phones.

U.S. prosecutors filed a string of criminal charges yesterday against the Chinese telecom giant Huawei, deepening tensions between the two countries over the company's alleged espionage and sanctions-busting activities. (Huawei USA) and Skycom Tech Co.

"This is something the United States will not stand for, and we're going to continue to investigate and prosecute these types of cases, because ultimately it undermines the national security and economic security of our country". Monday's announcement of criminal charges "is certainly not a propitious sign for US-China trade tensions and could hamper prospects for even a partial deal in the coming weeks", said Eswar Prasad, an economics professor and China expert at Cornell University.

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