Huawei charged with fraud and money laundering

Jan 29, 2019, 01:38
Huawei charged with fraud and money laundering

The US has charged Chinese tech giant Huawei with fraud and stealing trade secrets.

"The charges unsealed today clearly allege that Huawei intentionally conspired to steal the intellectual property of an American company in an attempt to undermine the free and fair global marketplace", said FBI Director Wray in a statement.

Mr Wray said the charges are the results of years of investigative work carried out by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. law enforcement.

The US contends that Meng, 46, a daughter of Huawei's founder, committed bank fraud to sidestep sanctions against doing business with Iran.

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Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Monday that Canada's former ambassador to China had been fired because his comments on an extradition case involving Meng made it untenable for him to stay in the job.

The charges stemmed from a civil lawsuit filed by T-Mobile in 2014 over a robot "Tappy", which was used in testing smartphones.

It arose from a multiyear investigation into potential violations by Chinese companies of USA sanctions on Iran. During a press conference this afternoon, the Department of Justice did just that, indicting the Chinese telecommunication company on 13 counts including money laundering, obstruction of justice, and sanction violations.

The indictment alleges that Huawei, two affiliated companies, and its chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou committed fraud and conspiracy in connection with deals in Iran.

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Meng's arrest December 1 touched off a political furor marked by days of angry anti-Canada rhetoric from China's foreign ministry, culminating Sunday in the firing of John McCallum as Canada's ambassador to China.

Meng's arrest enraged China, which has called for the extradition case to be dropped immediately. "Meng has been charged based upon her own personal conduct and not because of actions or misconduct by other Huawei employees", said United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Richard Donoghue.

The asking that the Canadian authorities extradite Meng.

The criminal charges in Brooklyn and Seattle come as trade talks between China and the USA are scheduled for this week.

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Huawei is the world's biggest supplier of network gear used by phone and internet companies and has always been seen as a front for spying by the Chinese military or security services.