Saturday, 29 February 2020

New legal woes for Huawei as US charges them with stealing trade secrets

by Harry Baldock, Total Telecom
Friday 14 February 20

The new charges suggest that the Chinese giant has been trying to steal intellectual property for decades

As the USA’s efforts to get Huawei banned in Europe appear to be failing, the country itself is taking its legal action to new heights against the Chinese tech giant.   Huawei is involved in two ongoing lawsuits in the US: one alleging Huawei staff conspired to steal intellectual property from T-Mobile, and another charging Huawei&rsquo…

As the USA’s efforts to get Huawei banned in Europe appear to be failing, the country itself is taking its legal action to new heights against the Chinese tech giant.
 
Huawei is involved in two ongoing lawsuits in the US: one alleging Huawei staff conspired to steal intellectual property from T-Mobile, and another charging Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou and affiliates with 13 charges of fraud related to US sanctions with Iran.
 
Meng Wanzhou is currently in Canada fighting extradition to the US.
 
Now, a new superseding indictment will add three additional charges to Meng Wanzhou’s case, including conspiracy to steal trade secrets, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and racketeering conspiracy under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). 
 
Prosecutors allege that Huawei has stolen intellectual property from six US companies, as well as lying to the FBI and Congress to hide illegal dealings with Iran and North Korea.
 
If they are found guilty of these charges, Huawei could be branded a criminal enterprise, bringing with it far more severe consequences for its operation than if the company was simply found to have broken the law.
 
RICO charges being used against a company of this size and from outside the US appears to be unprecedented, and the scale of the civil forfeiture of assets and profits being sought by the prosecutors would be enormous.
 
Huawei have released a statement suggesting that these new charges are part of an ongoing smear campaign by the US government, aimed at destroying the company’s reputation.
 
“This new indictment is part of the Justice Department’s attempt to irrevocably damage Huawei’s reputation and its business for reasons related to competition rather than law enforcement. These new charges are without merit and are based largely on recycled civil disputes from last 20 years that have been previously settled, litigated and in some cases, rejected by federal judges and juries. The government will not prevail on its charges, which we will prove to be both unfounded and unfair,” said Huawei’s official statement, in which they also claimed the sanctions against them continued to harm the industry and the US more than the company itself.
 
With Germany and many more countries within Europe still yet to make their final decision on Huawei, it would seem the US is keen to show that it will not be backing down any time soon.
 
 
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