Published: Tue, January 29, 2019
Markets | By Erika Turner

United States files charges against China's Huawei and CFO Meng Wanzhou

United States files charges against China's Huawei and CFO Meng Wanzhou

The US Justice Department unsealed two indictments on Monday against China's Huawei Technologies, several of its subsidiaries and its chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, in a pair of cases accusing the company of everything from bank and wire fraud to obstructing justice and conspiring to steal trade secrets from T-Mobile US Inc. As a result of that claim, it was able to borrow money from USA banks.

The Huawei Technologies Co. logo is displayed at an event in Beijing last week.

Prosecutors claim that the telecom giant used a Hong Kong company to sell equipment in Iran.

The U.S. reimposed sanctions against Iran in August 2018. The U.S. said during its press conference it was "deeply grateful to the government of Canada" for following the rule of law.

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

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Saturday he had removed John McCallum for saying that Huawei Technologies Co Ltd Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou could make a strong argument against being sent to the United States. Meng specifically is charged with wire fraud and bank fraud, as well as conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud.

"As charged in the indictment, Huawei and its Chief Financial Officer broke US law and have engaged in a fraudulent financial scheme that is detrimental to the security of the United States", Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in a press release announcing the charges.

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In addition, 10 U.S. federal charges were filed against two Huawei affiliates for stealing robot technology from T-Mobile.

Whitaker said these were not "rogue employees" acting on their own, but that stealing intellectual property was a "way of doing business" encouraged by Huawei itself.

Meng, 46, the daughter of the company's founder, was arrested in Canada Dec. 1 on allegations that she committed fraud to sidestep sanctions against Iran.

Canadian officials arrested Meng on a USA warrant December 1.

The deadline for an extradition request is January 30, 60 days after her arrest.

The announcement came not only as tensions rise in the tariffs war between the U.S. and China but also as the United States has stepped up efforts to crack down on what it contends has been China's espionage activities to steal American technology.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will take part in the two days of talks beginning Wednesday, along with the president's economic adviser Larry Kudlow and trade adviser Peter Navarro.

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