The US has filed criminal charges against Huawei and the company’s CFO Meng Wangzhou. The US Justice Department set out its case against the company, alleging that Huawei had spied on other companies and paid employees bonuses for gaining trade secrets, which were then input into a company database. It’s also claimed that the tech company skirted US sanctions on Iran.
Response from the Chinese government has been swift, with authorities saying that the charges are politically motivated, and an effort to curb the development of Huawei’s 5G network. The telecommunications company introduced its 5G coverage in 2018 and has quickly scooped up commercial deals around the world.
On Tuesday, January 29, the Chinese government urged the US to scale back their prosecution of Huawei with Foreign Ministry spokeperson Geng Shuang saying “For some time, the United States has used its state power to discredit and suppress a specific Chinese enterprise and attempted to interfere in the legitimate operations of enterprise,” according to Xinhua.
This bombshell announcement comes as Chinese Vice Premier Liu He arrives in Washington D.C. to resume trade talks with the US.
While Huawei has ever been a focus of US suspicion, the tension between the US government and the Shenzhen-based company reached fever pitch at the end of last year after the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, who is the CFO of the company and daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei.
Meng Wanzhou has been held in Vancouver, Canada since December 2018, with the US seeking to extradite her across the border.
As of now, Australia, New Zealand and Japan, amongst others, have announced that they will not be using Huawei’s 5G network, while others, like Canada and Germany, have also said that they will do in-depth reviews of the service before use.
[Cover image via Wikimedia]