While U.S. federal prosecutors in Seattle are reportedly investigating Huawei Technologies for allegedly stealing trade secrets from US companies including T-Mobile, China has accused the US of trying to suppress its tech companies.
The Wall Street Journal reports, US is currently working on a criminal indictment against the world’s number two smartphone maker for stealing trade secrets from American partners. According to sources with knowledge of the indictment, the investigation is at an advanced stage, and an indictment could come soon.
The indictment specifically mentions Chinese tech giant’s actions surrounding a T-Mobile smartphone testing tool called “Tappy”. The current investigation is tied to civil suits filed in 2014 when T-Mobile sued Huawei for allegedly gaining access to a company lab outside of Seattle and photographing and attempting to steal parts of the robotic smartphone testing device. Huawei was found liable to the charges and T-Mobile won $4.8 million in 2017.
Recently, Huawei has been facing growing pressure in the US, Europe and elsewhere. Donald Trump fearing China’s push to take over global technology has been pushing European allies to block Huawei from telecom networks at a time when concerns are developing that Chinese government could use the company’s equipment for spying.
Ren Zhengfei, the founder of China’s Huawei Technologies, denied the U.S. claims of spying and stressed that his company is owned by its employees and works independently of the Chinese government. “My company does not steal trade secrets. But this has not discouraged aggressively hostile attitude from the West,” he added.
However, to know a bit more about what evidence the US has about Huawei’s supposed wrongdoings and its ties to the Chinese government, we must wait for the Justice Department to bring formal charges.