Sci-Tech

Huawei reportedly target of U.S. criminal probe for trade secrets theft

The investigation is tied to civil suits filed against the Chinese telecom giant, including a 2017 case in which Huawei was found liable for stealing technology from Bellevue-based T-Mobile, a person close to the matter said.

Federal authorities in Seattle are investigating Huawei Technologies for allegedly stealing trade secrets from U.S. companies such as T-Mobile US, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The investigation is tied to civil suits filed against the Chinese telecommunications giant, including a case in which a federal jury in Seattle in 2017 found Huawei liable for the theft of robotic technology from Bellevue-based T-Mobile, said the person, who asked not to be named because the matter isn’t public.

The investigation is at an advanced stage, and an indictment could come soon, according to the person familiar with the matter.

The probe was first reported in The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.

Emily Langlie, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Seattle, declined to comment, as did a spokesman for Huawei. T-Mobile didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Huawei has been under increasing pressure in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere amid growing concerns that Beijing could use the company’s equipment for spying, something Huawei executives have denied. U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has been pushing European allies to block Huawei from telecom networks amid a wider dispute over trade with China. Last week, a company employee was arrested in Poland.

The company is also mired in a U.S. case alleging that its chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, conspired to defraud banks into unwittingly clearing transactions linked to Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions. Meng was arrested in Canada on Dec. 1 and released on bail four weeks ago awaiting extradition hearings to the U.S. She is living under restrictions in her million-dollar Vancouver home.


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