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US accuses Huawei of stealing trade secrets from American companies

Friday 14 February 2020 | 08:51 CET | News

The US has filed a new lawsuit against Huawei for alleged stealing of trade secrets from US companies. The suit filed in federal court in New York by the Department of Justice charges Huawei and its subsidiaries with 16 counts of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, as well as conspiracy to steal trade secrets stemming from the China-based company’s alleged "long-running practice of using fraud and deception to misappropriate sophisticated technology from US counterparts".

The indicted defendants notably include Huawei CFO Wanzhou Meng, who is currently awaiting in Canada a verdict on extradition to the US after being arrested on charges of violating US sanctions. Also named are Huawei Device, Huawei Device USA, Futurewei Technologies and Skycom.

The court filings claim a "decades-long" effort by Huawei to steal trade secrets from six American companies in an effort to grow its own business. The misappropriated intellectual property allegedly included trade secret information and copyrighted works, such as source code and user manuals for internet routers, antenna technology and robot testing technology. 

Huawei allegedly obtained the material by violating confidentiality agreements, recruiting employees of other companies and using proxies such as professors working at research institutions. As part of the scheme, Huawei allegedly launched a policy instituting a bonus program to reward employees who obtained confidential information from competitors. The policy made clear that employees who provided valuable information were to be financially rewarded, the DoJ said.

The case builds on an earlier suit brought against Huawei for allegedly violating US sanctions against Iran and accusations of stealing robot technology from T-Mobile US. In the new suit, Huawei is again accused of denying a connection to the company Skycom which did business with Iran and new allegations are presented claiming Huawei and its subsidiaries’ involvement in business with Iran and North Korea. Huawei allegedly tired to conceal the contracts, with internal Huawei documents supposedly referring to such jurisdictions with code names. 

Huawei has denied that Skycom is its company and said it did not violate sanctions. The company has further refuted the claims of stealing trade secrets. 



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Categories: General
Companies: Huawei
Countries: United States
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