Just days ahead of the proposed United States-China trade talks, the Donald Trump administration unveiled a sweeping set of criminal charges against China’s telecom behemoth Huawei Technologies accusing the company of stealing trade secrets from its rival and violating sanctions issued by United States (US) against doing business with Iran, The Wall Street Journal has reported.
The Justice Department on Monday (28 January) charged the Chinese company with fraudulent banking practices and theft of trade secrets. US’ latest action is sure to worsen the already embittered relationship between Washington and Beijing.
The Justice Department charged Huawei Technologies Co, its chief financial officer, and two subsidiary firms with a laundry list of crimes including conspiracy, money laundering, bank and wire fraud, flouting US sanctions on Iran, and obstruction of justice.
Huawei has also been accused of stealing advanced robotic technology designed to test smartphones from American cellular major T-Mobile.
Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei and the daughter of its founder Ren Zhengfei, had earlier been charged with lying about Huawei’s relationship with the Iranian company Skycom.
US authorities claim that the Zhengfi’s dealings with Skycom violated American sanctions prohibiting US banks from processing transactions connected to Iran. She is currently on bail in Vancouver, British Columbia, pending extradition proceedings.
“The criminal activity in this indictment goes back ten years and goes all the way to the top of the company,” said Acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker at a press conference announcing the charges.
Whitaker also confirmed that the department planned to file for Meng’s extradition, who was detained by Canadian authorities at a US request in December. US faces a Wednesday deadline to pursue extradition proceedings.
FBI director Christopher Wray said that Huawei, as an $8.4 billion firm protected by China’s Communist party, poses a “dual threat to both our economic and national security, and the magnitude of these charges makes clear just how seriously the FBI takes this threat.”
The Justice Department had earlier charged a group of 10 Chinese spies and hackers for conspiring to steal sensitive commercial airline information and other.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.