The United States has levied criminal charges on telecom company Huawei and its CFO Meng Wanzhou. In a press conference on Monday, The Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice and the Department of Commerce announced two federal cases against China-based Huawei. The authorities made a 13 count indictment with a series of criminal charges against the company and its CFO which includes fraud and money laundering conspiracy. The other cost is a 10 count indictment of stealing intellectual property from T-Mobile and also against obstructing justice. These suits follow the arrest of Meng Wanzhou in Canada as per the request raised by Trump administration.
More about the charges made by the FBI:
The first charge is to do with the Huawei and Skycom which is an Iranian affiliate. Huawei is charged with hiding business activities in Iran from the US government and financial institutions. It charged the company that it misled global banking partners and the US about its relation with Skycom so that they can conduct business with Iran. The charges allege that Meng Wanzhou was the mastermind behind the whole game plan as he provided the presentations stating that Huawei was not associated with Skycom.
According to the statement released by the Department of Justice, the second charge said that the alleged activity happened between 2012 and 2014. The company has supposedly offered employee bonus for taking part in stealing the data. It later told the employees in its US office that such acts are illegal and strict action will be taken against such activities. The Director of FBI, Christopher Wray said that the charges also included that the act of stealing the IP from an American company was intentional and ‘was an attempt to undermine the free and fair global marketplace.’ He further added that ‘to the detriment of American ingenuity, Huawei continually disregarded the laws of the United States in the hopes of gaining an unfair economic advantage. The FBI will not tolerate corrupt businesses that violate laws that allow American companies and the United States to thrive’.
There are also charges against the company that it stole valuable information from T-Mobile which was working on a robot named Tappy to develop one similar to this. After T-Mobile reported that the information was stolen and told Huawei that it would sue the company, Huawei made false claims that the act was individually motivated and not a hatched by the Huawei corporates.
With these criminal charges, the tensions between the US and China is likely to increase further.