US Charges Huawei for Technology Theft & Violating Sanctions, China Rebukes "Unreasonable Crackdown"by Andrei Frumusanu on January 29, 2019 9:30 AM EST
The political news cycle around Huawei over the last few weeks has been particularly active. As trade tensions between the US and China over the last year have risen, the company has become a focus-point for the US Justice Department.
Back in December in particular we saw the high-profile arrest of Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou in Canada on the grounds of an US arrest warrant. Meng is currently on bail in Vancouver as she awaits extradition hearings by Canadian justice. The primary charges against Meng surround accusations of Huawei circumventing US export sanctions against Iran by using a Hong Kong subsidiary “Skycom”, with Meng committing bank fraud by lying to US banks and trying to hide this connection. Huawei denies any of the asserted violations in the indictment.
Additional charges against Huawei were unsealed on Monday, with the US Justice Department further accusing Huawei of “trying to take a piece of a robot and other technology from a T-Mobile lab that was used to test smartphones”. The charge claims that the event took place in 2012 as Huawei engineers tried to take photos and measurements of an automated screen-tapping robot “Tappy”. Such testing robots have essentially become common place in the industry and are employed by many manufacturers and testing labs. The incident does sound odd in this regard as the technology involved isn’t particularly high-level or that valuable.
In a more recent rebuttal of the US’s accusations, Beijing’s foreign ministry had made a statement on state TV, as quoted by AP:
China called on Washington on Tuesday to “stop the unreasonable crackdown” on Huawei after the United States stepped up pressure on the tech giant by indicting it on charges of stealing technology and violating sanctions on Iran.
Beijing will “firmly defend” its companies, a foreign ministry statement said.
The foreign ministry complained Washington has “mobilized state power” to hurt Chinese companies “in an attempt to strangle fair and just operations.”
“We strongly urge the United States to stop the unreasonable crackdown on Chinese companies including Huawei,” said the statement read on state TV.
Even though Huawei’s efforts in the US has seen major set-backs and the company essentially doesn’t see any major presence in that market, the company last year still managed to surpass Apple and take over as #2 smartphone vendor. Later in the same year, the company also managed to pass the 200 million mark of shipped smartphones for 2018, signifying an important step for the company’s consumer business.
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Source: AP News