US officially charges Huawei and Meng Wanzhou with financial fraud; company also accused of commercial espionage
The indictments have been unsealed and things are definitely not looking rosy for Huawei in the US. A 13-count indictment produced in a federal court in Brooklyn, New York charged Huawei, Huawei Device USA, Skycom Tech, and company executive Meng Wanzhou with numerous criminal activities, which include wire fraud, bank fraud, sanctions violations, obstruction of justice, and conspiracy. It mostly boils down to the Chinese tech giant’s alleged business in Iran that violated US laws.
Another indictment against Huawei was unsealed in the Western District of Washington State, which charges the company and Huawei Device USA with 10 counts of illegal activity that amounts to corporate espionage. The criminal charges include wire fraud (seven counts), obstruction of justice, attempted theft of trade secrets, and conspiracy. This indictment refers to allegations of Huawei workers stealing information about T-Mobile’s secret smartphone-testing robot that was known as "Tappy".
The current director of the FBI, Christopher A. Wray, made his opinion on the matter very clear in one of the releases issued by the Department of Justice:
Companies like Huawei pose 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. Today should serve as a warning that we will not tolerate businesses that violate our laws, obstruct justice, or jeopardize national and economic well-being.
A court appearance for Meng Wanzhou has been scheduled to take place in Vancouver for February 6.