United States officially files criminal charges against Huawei executive

Oscar PerryJan 29, 2019

Chinese media have suggested Meng's arrest was politically motivated, and U.S. President Donald Trump has suggested he would step in on Meng's case if it helped get a trade deal with China.

A separate case filed in Washington state charges Huawei with stealing trade secrets from T-Mobile.

News of the charges comes just as the White House is making plans for a team of high-level economic advisers to meet a delegation from China later this week to talk trade between the two countries.

In a 13-count indictment in Brooklyn, New York, the government alleged Huawei, two affiliated companies and Chief Financial Officer Wanzhou Meng of bank and wire fraud as well as conspiracy in connection with business in Iran.

Whitaker and Federal Bureau of Investigation director Christopher Wray both thanked Canadian officials for their help.

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Huawei didn't respond immediately to requests for comment on the allegations. Skycom was also charged. Meng "personally made a presentation in August 2013 to an executive of one of Huawei's major banking partners in which she repeatedly lied about the relationship", prosecutors said in a statement announcing the charges.

The cases accuse the company of everything from bank and wire fraud to obstructing justice and conspiring to steal trade secrets from T-Mobile US Inc.

Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker says the department is proceeding with its extradition efforts against Meng, who was detained December 1 at the request of the US upon arriving at the airport in Vancouver.

The U.S. government is trying to prevent American companies from buying Huawei routers and switches and is pressing allies to do the same.

T-Mobile had accused Huawei of stealing the technology, called "Tappy", which mimicked human fingers and was used to test smartphones. Meng's arrest sparked outrage in China, which called for her immediate release and condemned the move as a USA - led effort to thwart the telecom giant and constrain China's global ambitions.

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