New U.S. indictment against Huawei and Meng Wanzhou

Business & Technology

pasted image 0 18

Wearing a tracking device and designer clothing, Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou leaves her residence in Vancouver. She is currently free on bail while awaiting an extradition hearing following her arrest last December at the request of the United States.

Yesterday, we noted reports that U.S. officials have apparently convincing evidence that Huawei can or does install “back doors” in its telecom equipment, which could allow snooping by the Chinese government.

Today, Reuters reports:

The U.S. government on Thursday filed a superseding indictment against the Chinese smartphone maker Huawei Technologies Co and its Chief Financial Officer Mèng Wǎnzhōu 孟晚舟.

The indictment was filed in the federal court in Brooklyn, New York.

The superseding indictment charges Huawei with conspiring to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and conspiring to steal trade secrets from six U.S. technology companies in order to grow the company. It also contains new allegations about the company’s involvement in countries subject to sanctions, such as Iran and North Korea.

The trade secret theft relates to internet router source code, cellular antenna technology and robotics.

Why is this important?

Meng Wanzhou’s arrest has been one of the biggest sources of tensions between China and the U.S. and Canada. The new indictment will be greeted with fury in Beijing.


Yesterday, Politico reported that the Pentagon is poised “to reverse its opposition to a proposal that would further crack down on U.S. exports to blacklisted Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei.”

See also on SupChina: The age of cooptation: The high cost of doing business in Xi’s China. The piece includes a fascinating anecdote about how Huawei developed its facial recognition technology, with the help of the Chinese government.

—Jeremy Goldkorn