Federal officials on Thursday hit Huawei Technologies and two U.S. subsidiaries with a racketeering indictment, charging the world’s largest telecom-equipment producer with conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
The superseding indictment, filed in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, New York, also contains charges from a prior superseding indictment, which was unsealed in January 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice said.
The 16-count indictment adds a charge of conspiracy to steal trade secrets "stemming from the China-based company’s alleged long-running practice of using fraud and deception to misappropriate sophisticated technology from U.S. counterparts."
Named in the indictment are Huawei and the company's chief financial officer, Wanzhou Meng, who is also Huawei Founder Ren Zhengfei's daughter. Also charged are four official and unofficial subsidiaries: Huawei Device Co. Ltd. , Huawei Device USA Inc., Futurewei Technologies Inc. and Skycom Tech Co. Ltd.
The new charges relate to alleged decades-long efforts by Huawei, and several of its subsidiaries, both in the U.S. and in China, to misappropriate intellectual property, including from six U.S. technology companies, in an effort to grow and operate Huawei’s business.
The indictment also includes new allegations about Huawei and its subsidiaries’ involvement with countries subject to U.S., E.U. or U.N. sanctions, such as Iran and North Korea, as well as the company’s efforts to conceal the full scope of that involvement.
The defendants’ alleged activities, which included arranging for shipment of Huawei goods and services to end users in sanctioned countries, were typically conducted through local affiliates in the sanctioned countries, the government said.
Last May, President Donald Trump signed an executive order giving the federal government the power to block U.S. companies from buying foreign-made telecom equipment deemed a national-security risk. The order was seen as a move against Huawei