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US charges Huawei with racketeering and conspiracy to sell trade secrets

By Yana Berman

The crackdown on the Chinese tech giant evolves with the new indictments

Chinese technology giant Huawei has been charged with racketeering and other crimes, an indictment unveiled by the New York court shows.

One charge supposes that Huawei tried to steal trade secrets, while another alleges that Huawei was involved in wire fraud to steal intellectual property. The indictment also reveals further details on Huawei's purported business with Iran and North Korea.

For instance, the Justice Department accused Huawei of concealing its relationship with an affiliate company Skycom that allegedly helped Iran to perform domestic surveillance. Moreover, the prosecutors believe that the Chinese tech giant has repeatedly lied to the US officials, including FBI agents.

The new charges continue the list of allegations that was initially revealed last January. At press time, it consists of more than a dozen charges, including committed bank fraud and violated economic sanctions against Iran. In March, Huawei pleaded not guilty to the initial allegations.

During the conflict with Huawei, the US government tried to urge its allies not to partner with Huawei during the 5G rollout in their countries. For instance, the UK was heavily pressured by Trump's administration prior to the decision.

Following the new indictments, Huawei accused the US government of the attempt to "irrevocably damage Huawei's reputation". The Chinese giant cites competitive reasons rather than law enforcement as the main purpose of prosecution. According to Huawei, "racketeering enterprise" is nothing more than a repackaging of civil allegations that are almost 20 years old. The company is determined to prove that the charges are "unfounded and unfair".

Meanwhile, Canada is currently proceeding with the extradition of Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, to the United States. She was arrested in Vancouver in 2018 upon the request of the US government.

At the same time, Canadian telecom operator Telus Corp is heading towards the launch of a 5G network with its initial module built with Huawei Technologies Co Ltd’s equipment.

FURTHER READING: UK to decide on Huawei 5G ban following pressure from the US

FURTHER READING: China warns France against excluding Huawei from 5G

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