Meng, other Huawei executives face 13 charges in US

A 13-count indictment filed in New York City against Huawei, two of its affiliated firms, and its chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, accuses Huawei and an affiliate of bank fraud and wire fraud.

The US Department of Justice on Monday charged Huawei with theft of trade secrets, wire fraud and obstruction of justice.

The U.S. Department of Justice is formally levelling 23 criminal charges against Chinese tech juggernaut Huawei Technologies, multiple subsidiaries and chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou.

Meng Wanzhou, the company's chief financial officer, was arrested in Canada on December 1. Meng specifically is charged with wire fraud and bank fraud, as well as conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud.

Prosecutors also allege that Huawei stole trade secrets, including the technology behind a robotic device that T-Mobile used to test smartphones, prosecutors said. Prosecutors allege she committed fraud by misleading American banks about Huawei's business deals in Iran.

Meng is now free on bail in Vancouver as the USA seeks her extradition.

"These are very serious actions by a company that appears to be using corporate espionage and sanctions violations to not only enhance, potentially, their bottom line, but also to compete in the world economy", he said.

Huawei officials also provided assurances to the US Congress that its business didn't run afoul of any US law pertaining to Iran.

Bad Timing for U.S.

The top USA law enforcement officials, including acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and FBI Director Christopher Wray, held a news conference in Washington to announce the charges.

According to the indictment, Huawei relied on its global banking relationships to process U.S. -dollar transactions through the U.S. One bank cleared more than $100 million between 2010 and 2014, according to the indictment.

The criminal charges in Brooklyn and Seattle come as trade talks between China and the US are scheduled for this week. Huawei has been working to displace Samsung as the biggest smartphone maker in the world, while at the same time the U.S. has been aggressively working to convince allies to ban use of Huawei technology over fears that the company's close ties to China's central government mean the company's devices could be used to spy on consumers.

  • Anthony Vega