United States charges top Chinese cellphone maker Huawei with conspiracy, money laundering

Ann Santiago
January 29, 2019

The latter is a robotic technology used by the carrier to test phones, and T-Mobile won a $4.8 million judgment against Huawei in a civil case back in 2017.

FBI Director Christopher Wray said the cases "expose Huawei's brazen and persistent actions to exploit American companies and financial institutions, and to threaten the free and fair global marketplace".

The U.S. has accused her of knowingly violating sanctions against Iran by using a subsidiary company; Meng has denied the allegations.

Matthew Whitaker, the acting United States attorney general, said Huawei had attempted to evade sanctions against Iran by setting up a separate company called Skycom, which fraudulently conducted more than $100m (£76m) worth of transactions through the U.S. financial system over four years. The other subsidiary facing charges is none other than Huawei USA.

Matthew Whitaker, the acting attorney general, said grand juries in Seattle and NY had indicted Huawei, its affiliates and its chief financial officer on 23 criminal charges.

Shortly after, in a move widely seen as retaliation for Meng's arrest, Chinese authorities detained two Canadians, including a former diplomat, on security charges.

The first set of criminal charges surround a Huawei CFO Wanzhou Meng and a little known affiliate named Skycom.

Secretary Nielsen said that Huawei's behaviour wasn't "just illegal but also detrimental to the national security of the US" and that the United States would "not tolerate a regime that supports terrorism".

"There is ample evidence to suggest that no major Chinese company is independent of the Chinese government and Communist Party - and Huawei, which China's government and military tout as a 'national champion, ' is no exception". A person familiar with the case, who sought anonymity because they weren't authorised to speak, said T-Mobile's claims regarding the theft of its technology caught the attention of federal authorities in the Western District of Washington. President Donald Trump's own musings fuelled speculation that the USA might be planning to use the case as leverage in its trade negotiations with China.

Meng's arrest nearly two months ago touched off an ongoing diplomatic furor that resulted Sunday in the firing of John McCallum as Canada's ambassador to China after he publicly expressed confidence in her ability to fight extradition to the United States. A Chinese court later retried a Canadian man who had been jailed for drugs smuggling and sentenced him to death.

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