Home / Business / Huawei units plead not guilty of theft of US trade secret

Huawei units plead not guilty of theft of US trade secret

PHOTO FILE: The Huawei Technologies logo is represented in front of the Chinese headquarters of the Chinese telecommunications giant in Düsseldorf, Germany, on February 18, 2019. REUTERS / Wolfgang Rattay / File Photo

(Reuters) – Huawei Device Co Ltd and Huawei Device USA Inc. have pleaded not guilty to fraud, conspiracy and other charges. The trial was set for March 2020, the Ministry of Justice announced Thursday.

The units of Huawei Technologies Co Ltd of China were brought before the US District Court in Seattle and US District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez set the trial on March 2, 2020.

Last month, the two companies were charged in an unsealed indictment for conspiring to steal trade secrets from T-Mobile US Inc between 2012 and 2014.

The charges added to the pressure exerted by the US government on Huawei, the world's largest manufacturer of telecommunications equipment. Washington is trying to prevent US companies from buying Huawei routers and switches and is asking its allies to do the same.

T-Mobile had accused Huawei of stealing a technology called "Tappy", which imitated human fingers and was used to test smartphones. Huawei said its two companies settled their disputes in 2017.

In addition, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn have accused Huawei and its affiliates of bank and wire fraud for allegedly violating sanctions against Iran. A date of indictment has not yet been set in this case, which has aggravated the tensions between Washington and Beijing.

The United States is also calling for Canada's extradition of Huawei's chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, daughter of its founder, after accusing her of bank and electronic fraud.

A senior US cyberspace official said on Tuesday that European governments were listening to the American message that Huawei exposed telecommunications networks to security risks.

No evidence of securities risk was publicly presented, even as Huawei's surveillance intensified and the company refused to use its technology to spy on Beijing.

Report by David Shepardson; written by Meredith Mazzilli; edited by Jonathan Oatis

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