The United States Justice Department has unsealed two indictments against China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd., several of its subsidiaries and its chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou on Monday.
Meng was arrested in Vancouver and later released on bail in December and faces extradition to the United States. The case strained Chinese relations with both the United States and Canada.
- In a 13-count indictment from prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York, Huawei has been accused of misleading banks and US authorities about the relationship between Hong Kong-based shell corporation Skycom Tech and Huawei Device USA Inc. to sell equipment in Iran, a violation of US sanctions.
- Prosecutors also accused Meng of committing fraud and misleading banks into believing Skycom and Huawei were separate.
- In a separate case, the Justice Department unveiled a 10-count grand jury indictment in Seattle accusing Huawei of stealing trade secrets, wire fraud and obstructing justice for allegedly stealing robotic technology from T-Mobile US, a subsidiary of Germany’s Deutsche Telekom AG. The technology, called “Tappy,” mimicked human fingers and was used to test smartphones in T-mobile’s lab in the northwestern US state of Washington.
Huawei ‘threatens’ global marketplace
During the Justice Department’s announcement of the unsealed indictments, Christopher Wray, the director of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), said the cases “expose Huawei’s brazen and persistent actions to exploit American companies and financial institutions, and to threaten the free and fair global marketplace.”
He also expressed his concern about Huawei devices in US telecommunications networks.
“That kind of access could give a foreign government the capacity to maliciously modify or steal information, conduct undetected espionage, or exert pressure or control.”
Who is Meng Wanzhou? She is the CFO and deputy chairwoman of Huawei Technologies as well as the daughter of the company’s founder, Ren Zhengfei. She was detained in Vancouver at the beginning of December but was released on bail a week after her arrest. She currently is staying in one of her family’s homes in Vancouver as she awaits a decision from a Canadian court on a US extradition request.
More to come on DW…
dv/se (AFP, Reuters, AP)
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