The US Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) charged Huawei with racketeering and conspiring to steal trade secrets from six US firms.
The company and its affiliates were accused of “using fraud and deception to misappropriate sophisticated technology from US counterparts,” and the new charges allege the company of offering bonuses to employees who obtained “confidential information” from its competitors.
Two other charges filed by the US government last year includes violating US sanctions on Iran and stealing technology from T-Mobile called Tappy which is used to test smartphone durability.
The development is the latest salvo fired by the Trump administration in its year-long fight against the company which it deems a threat to national security.
According to the Federal indictment, the misappropriated intellectual property included trade secret information and copyrighted works, such as source code and user manuals for internet routers, antenna technology, and robot testing technology.
The alleged theft helped Huawei to illegally obtain nonpublic technology relating to internet router source code, cellular antenna technology, and robotics.
The six US firms are not named in the indictment, but it is suspected that the companies might be Cisco Systems, Motorola Solutions, Fujitsu, Quintel Technology, T-Mobile, and CNEX Labs.
The report also accuses Huawei of engaging in business with countries subject to US, EU, and UN sanctions, including Iran and North Korea, and also for trying to conceal its involvement. They are alleged to have used code names for these countries, such as “A2” for Iran, and “A9” for North Korea.
Huawei, however has denied all the charges and they commented that this new indictment is part of the Justice Department’s attempt to irrevocably damage their reputation and business for reasons related to competition rather than law enforcement.
The fresh charges against Huawei came days after The Wall Street Journal reported that US officials had evidence of the company employing “back doors” that allowed it to secretly access sensitive and personal information.
The company, also fired back against the allegations of spying, stating that the US itself has a long history of spying on its allies and adversaries.
The ongoing fight against Huawei, has ambushed many countries, with the Trump administration actively discouraging its partners such as the UK from using Huawei’s technology for 5G wireless networks.
In spite of the pressure, the UK has announced last month that it would continue using Huawei’s equipment but limiting its role to building peripheral parts of the 5G and full-fiber network. Similarly, France, also will not exclude the firm from supplying equipment for 5G networks in the country.