It’s been two months since Huawei’s chief financial officer was arrested for violating US sanctions, and the blows are still coming. This time, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) has slapped the China-based company with a fresh set of criminal charges.
Unsurprisingly, the criminal charges against the brand is extensive, with accusations ranging from bank and wire fraud, to violating US trade sanctions against Iran as a start. On the latter, the DOJ says that Huawei had willfully and knowingly conducted millions of dollars in transactions with Iran.
There’s also a separate charge from the DOJ that accuses Huawei of stealing trade secrets from the US telco T-Mobile. Specifically, the DOJ alleges that Huawei had made “concerted efforts” to whisk away information regarding a robot used by the telco to test mobile phones. This includes secretly taking photos and measurements of the robot, and stealing specific parts from it.
To recap, this whole situation began when Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer and daughter to the brand’s founder, Ren Zhengfei, was arrested in Canada for the aforementioned charges. At the time, Wanzhou was believed to have allegedly violated the US sanctions by trading with Iran through a Hong Kong-based company called Skycom Tech.
Needless to say, Wanzhou’s arrest didn’t sit well with the China. In response, the global economic powerhouse arrested one Canadian national in its country, and sentenced another to death for allegedly smuggling drugs into the country. In a surprising show of solidarity, many Chinese citizens have also showed their support by through various actions. Such as boycotting Apple’s iPhone and buying Huawei devices. It’s a bitter sense of irony, since almost all of Apple’s smartphones are technically assembled within the country.
Wanzhou is currently out on bail, and the DOJ still has until the 30 January to put through its request for her extradition to the US.