The US Department of Justice has formally unsealed indictments against Chinese tech giant Huawei. The charges relate to theft of trade secrets from carrier T-Mobile and for fraud related to sanction infractions.
Huawei has yet to comment on the indictment *
Ten criminal counts relate to a 2012 espionage effort by Huawei employees to gain information about a T-Mobile smartphone testing robot named “Tappy.” The carrier pursued civil charges against the telecommunications firm in 2015 as well as $500 million in damges, but was only awarded about $4 million.
The indictment, which carries on with much of the evidence and other materials of the original suit, claims that the Huawei employees secretly took photos, measured parts and even stole a part of Tappy for replication. When T-Mobile found out, Huawei defended itself by saying the employees were “rogue actors.” But internal emails from 2013 detail an incentives scheme that rewarded Huawei workers for stealing trade secrets.
13 counts target Huawei and three affiliates — including its CFO, Meng Wanzhou — on claims that the company lied to banks on Huawei’s ownership role in an Iranian affiliate company and that it laundered money to a third-party to keep control of the company while officially moving the firm off the books. The department alleges that the company tried to obstruct the government’s investigation into its behavior.
Meng was arrested in Canada on the charges and is currently on bail. The US is requesting her extradition.