U.S. charges Huawei with racketeering and conspiracy to steal trade secrets

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U.S. federal prosecutors charged Chinese tech company Huawei and two of its U.S. subsidiaries with racketeering and conspiracy to steal trade secrets on Thursday.

The new charges accuse the company of offering employees bonuses for obtaining confidential information and taking other actions to steal intellectual property from U.S. tech companies for decades, the indictment filed in federal court in Brooklyn states.

Prosecutors said Huawei was able to obtain nonpublic intellectual property about robotics, cellular-antenna technology and internet router source code from at least six U.S. companies, allowing it to cut down on cost and research-and-development time.

Additionally, the indictment states that Huawei shipped goods and services to countries that are subject to U.S. sanctions including Iran and North Korea.

Thursday's charges build on an indictment brought last year against the Huawei, its chief financial officer, Wanzhou Meng, as well as two affiliates -- Huawei Device USA Inc. and Skycom Tech Co. Ltd. -- accusing them of violating U.S. sanctions against Iran.

Huawei and Skycom were charged with bank fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, conspiracy to violate IEEPA and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

The indictment accuses employees of lying about Huawei's relationship to Skycom, which is based in Iran, by saying it was not an affiliate of Huawei and alleging Meng and other employees falsely claimed that Huawei had sold its interest in Skycom to an unrelated third party in 2007.
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