USA legislators introduce bills targeting Chinese tech companies

Chengdu Sichuan  China- huawei retail store in downtown Chengdu. Image by B Zhou  Shutterstock
Huawei under investigation for allegedly stealing trade secrets

18 January, 2019

The Chinese technology company Huawei is under criminal investigation in the USA by federal prosecutors who accuse it of stealing trade secrets from American partners.

Huawei and the Department of Justice declined to comment on the media report.

Huawei has stated that a dispute with T-Mobile was settled in 2017 after a report said United States authorities had opened a criminal investigation into the Chinese telecommunications company. The federal case has evolved from a civil suit involving the theft of technology developed by T-Mobile U.S. test smartphones. "Notwithstanding the work of this committee in the USA, we also have a body of evidence in terms of the experience of other Canadian companies and 140-plus countries around the world where Huawei's involved".

"The whole world is quite clear that the using national machinery to suppress China's high-tech companies", Hua said.

"If Chinese telecom companies like Huawei violate our sanctions or export control laws, they should receive nothing less than the death penalty - which this denial order would provide".

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The proposed law and investigation are two of several challenges that Huawei, the world's biggest telecommunications equipment maker, faces in the USA market.

In a related move, lawmakers introduced a bill to ban the export of American parts and components to Chinese telecom companies that are in violation of U.S. export control or sanctions laws, with Huawei and fellow Chinese firm ZTE the likely targets.

Similar cases might also come to light during the investigation and the DOJ is reportedly already close to indicting Huawei. Both companies have repeatedly violated USA laws, represent a significant risk to American national security interests, and need to be held accountable.

"This is Congress asserting, as we did back in July 2018, that we need to put these Chinese telecoms companies that are acting effectively as arms of the Chinese Communist Party, out of business", said one senior congressional official. Last month, at the behest of the U.S., Canadian authorities arrested Huawei's Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou on fraud charges linked to Iran trade-sanction violations. However, the Chinese company told the Journal that the matter was resolved in an undisclosed settlement in 2017.

Earlier this week, Huawei once again found itself denying allegations that the company was spying on behalf of the Chinese government, praising Donald Trump's presidency. It found that Huawei misappropriated T-Mobile's trade secrets and breached a supply contract between the two companies, saying T-Mobile should get US$4.8 million in damages.

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