A new federal indictment was unsealed on Wednesday in a district court in New York, alleging that Huawei Technologies Co., a China-based telecommunications equipment manufacturer, and two of its subsidiaries engaged in racketeering and conspired to steal trade secrets from rival U.S.-based counterparts.
The indictment also alleged that, through unofficial subsidiaries, Huawei engaged in business and technology projects with countries subject to U.S. sanctions, such as North Korea and Iran.
The indictment claims that Huawei and its subsidiaries engaged in a “pattern of racketeering activity” including wire and financial institution fraud, obstruction of justice, witness tampering, theft of trade secrets, money laundering, and criminal copyright infringement. Six unnamed American companies allegedly had source code and user manuals for wireless technology stolen from them in an attempt to give Huawei an unfair competitive advantage in the global marketplace.
Prosecutors also say that the company concealed its ties to sanctioned governments and supplied technology and services to those governments, including domestic surveillance assistance to Iran during anti-government demonstrations in 2009.
Last May, President Trump signed an executive order effectively banning U.S. companies from using equipment supplied by Huawei, and in November the Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously to designate Huawei a national security risk both because of their ties to China’s government and military and due to concerns about Chinese laws that allow China’s intelligence services to compel private companies to support intelligence operations.
The government first filed criminal charges against Huawei in January 2019, and Wednesday’s superseding indictment takes the place of the previous indictment.