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United States 'probes Huawei for trade secret theft'

18 January, 2019, 14:31 | Author: Lawrence Cooper
  • Huawei is reportedly under investigation for allegations of trade secret theft.                  Claudia Cruz  CNET

Investigators are particularly interested in a 2014 legal dispute between Huawei and T-Mobile - which resulted in a Seattle jury finding the former liable for stealing designs and parts for a secret cell-phone testing robot past year.

The latest allegation could deepen the trade rift between China and the U.S. and put more pressure on Huawei, which is at the centre of suspicions that its equipment allows Beijing to monitor communications.

New Zealand blocked a proposal to use Huawei telecoms equipment over national security concerns, and the Australian government has banned Huawei from providing 5G technology to its wireless networks.

As detailed in the press release, the "Telecommunications Denial Order Enforcement Act" follows the apprehension of the Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou in Canada after USA law enforcement agencies requested her arrest because of allegedly evading US sanctions against Iran.

It's the latest signs of a growing technological cold war between the United States and China over telecommunications technology.

Huawei denies ties to the Chinese government, and its equipment is widely used in Canada's telecom networks: Bell and Telus partnered with Huawei to test 5G technology, although the federal government has considered banning the company from access to the network.

It's unclear how many more damages Huawei may have to pay now that a criminal investigation is getting underway, but we'll be sure to follow this and see where things go from here.

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However, Huawei lost the case to the tune of $7 million, with the jury deciding the incident constituted a breach of contract.

"Huawei and ZTE's actions to systematically undermine US and allied cybersecurity show that Beijing does not wish to be part of the rules based system, but rather to break it", Gallego added.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ariz.) described Huawei as "effectively an intelligence-gathering arm of the Chinese Communist Party".

The new criminal investigation is the direct result of a 2014 civil suit between Huawei and T-Mobile wherein the Chinese company was accused and later found guilty of stealing intellectual property from the nation's third-largest wireless carrier.

This week, The Economic Times reported, quoting Dr A Paulraj, head of a government-appointed panel looking at 5G as saying that he was "not sure technology from European companies has lesser security problems, than say, a Huawei".

The proposed law and investigation are two of several challenges that Huawei, the world's biggest telecommunications equipment maker, faces in the us market. Both these companies are entirely dependent on US made components, primarily in the form of sophisticated microprocessors. The U.S.is seeking to extradite her to face charges she misled banks about the company's business dealings in Iran. As part of the agreement, the US lifted a ban in place since April that had prevented ZTE from buying the USA components it relies on heavily to make smartphones and other devices.

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