DOJ Issues New Charges Of Racketeering And Conspiracy Against Chinese Telecom Giant Huawei

( – The Department of Justice did its best to crack down on racketeering and conspiracy Thursday, when it filed a federal indictment against Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei along with two of its American subsidiary companies. The DOJ added these charges to the original charges of fraud and intellectual property theft they levied against the company in January 2019.

According to a press release the DOJ released, Huawei engaged in a “decades-long operation” to “misappropriate intellectual property” from up to as many as six rival technology firms based in the United States. The sole purpose of this, the DOJ said, was to “grow and operate Huawei’s business.”

So, what is the DOJ accusing the firm of stealing? Copyrighted code, manuals to help build internet routers, robot testers, antennas and trade secrets.

But, how does Huawei allegedly engage in this theft? According to the DOJ, by entering into confidentiality agreements with their rival firms with the full-fledged intention of violating the contracts. They also will recruit employees from rival companies to steal secrets from those companies.

The DOJ press release reads, in part:

“As part of the scheme, Huawei allegedly launched a policy instituting a bonus program to reward employees who obtained confidential information from competitors. The policy made clear the employees who provided valuable information were to be financially rewarded.”

One example was a tech company that was trying to partner with Huawei sent over a slide deck with information about its business that was confidential. As the indictment laid out, though:

“Immediately upon receipt of the slide deck, each page of which was marked ‘Proprietary and Confidential’ by Company 6, HUAWEI distributed the slide deck to HUAWEI engineers, including engineers in the subsidiary that was working on technology that directly competed with Company 6’s products and services. These engineers discussed developments by Company 6 that would have application to HUAWEI’s own prototypes then under design.”

In addition, the DOJ is charging that Huawei was violating international and United States sanctions that exist on North Korea and Iran by conducting their business with those countries through what are called “local affiliates.” This was the company’s way of trying to get around the U.S. and international sanctions on the dangerous countries.

“Reflecting the inherent sensitivity of conducting business in jurisdictions subject to U.S., E.U. and/or U.N. sanctions, internal HUAWEI documents referred to such jurisdictions with code names. For example, the code ‘A2’ referred to Iran, and ‘A9’ referred to North Korea.”

President Donald Trump and his administration has waged an all-out campaign against the Chinese telecommunications giant, in part because they believe the firm has a close relationship to China’s Communist Party, which could eventually compromise the United States’ national security. The Commerce Department tried to tighten its regulations on the company’s dealings with American firms, but the Pentagon has since blocked their attempts to do so. The Pentagon said it believed limiting the company’s status as a “valued customer” could have unintended consequences, damaging the American economy instead.