Huawei is reportedly under federal investigation by the U.S. Justice Department
- Author: Eleanor Harrison Jan 18, 2019,
Jan 18, 2019, 0:38
The Wall Street Journal wrote Thursday morning that US federal prosecutors have opened an investigation into Huawei for alleged intellectual property theft. According to a Wall Street Journal report, the DOJ is close to filing an indictment against Huawei for theft of trade secrets, including the technology used in a robot developed by T-Mobile to test smartphones.
T-Mobile broke off its dealing with Huawei due to the incident, and the carrier wrote in its civil complaint that "Huawei has used the robot technology it misappropriated from T-Mobile to unjustly gain a commercial advantage worth hundreds of millions of dollars".
In May 2017, a jury said Huawei should pay T-Mobile $4.8 million in damages.
In one alleged instance, two Huawei employees slipped a third one into the testing lab to take unauthorized photos of the robot.
The Huawei Technologies Company and the ZTE Corporation together with any affiliates or subsidiaries are the two firms directly named in the bill as being covered by the proposed legislation, as well as any other telecom company domiciled in People's Republic of China, as first reported by Reuters.
The Journal report Wednesday cites several people familiar with the matter who are not identified by name.
In November, the Justice Department announced its "China Initiative" created to prioritize trade-theft cases and litigate them as quickly as possible.
This led the U.S.to impose a seven-year ban on the company buying from local suppliers.
The company was found to have violated USA law in 2016 for selling USA technology to Iran, was fined up to US$1.2 billion and instructed to penalize its workers.
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.
Senators from the United States introduced the Telecommunications Denial Order Enforcement Act, which prohibits the export of parts of U.S. technology to Chinese telecommunications companies.
A group of bipartisan senators on Wednesday introduced a bill prohibiting the export of US-produced parts and components to telecommunication companies in China that have violated U.S. sanctions, Congressman Mike Gallaher's press office said in a release. As part of the agreement, the US lifted a ban in place since April that had prevented ZTE from buying the USA components it relies on heavily to make smartphones and other devices.