U.S. lawmakers introduce bipartisan bills targeting China's Huawei and ZTE

Chengdu Sichuan  China- huawei retail store in downtown Chengdu. Image by B Zhou  Shutterstock

Huawei under investigation for allegedly stealing trade secrets

The US government seems to be escalating these claims as it reportedly prepares to take the company to court over the alleged theft of trade secrets, however China believes it to be an intentional effort to stifle the country's technology companies.

The effort follows revelations that Huawei allegedly violated USA sanctions laws by moving millions of dollars to Iran as part of a scheme to skirt American statutes barring trade with Tehran.

Last year's effort to penalize foreign companies such as ZTE and Huawei was cast to the side after ZTE spent scores of money lobbying US official against the measure.

This led the U.S.to impose a seven-year ban on the company buying from local suppliers.

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The criminal probe just makes things worse for Huawei, which has been accused of being a national-security threat to Western countries and whose CFO is awaiting extradition from Canada to the US for allegedly exporting USA technology to Iran in violation of sanctions.

It also adds to a case the USA has been trying to make for years now: Huawei is a threat to national security.

Huawei has been inundated with one bad news story after another for the last seven weeks, including two high profile arrests, a federal criminal investigation, a potential executive order banning the sale of its products in the US and a bill in Congress that would block USA companies from selling chips or components to Huawei. A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced new legislation that would ban exports to companies caught violating United States sanctions laws. "As state-directed enterprises, they ultimately report to the Chinese Communist Party and will be employed where and whenever possible to undermine American interests and those of our allies".

The company is also mired in a United States case alleging that its chief financial officer, Sabrina Meng Wanzhou, conspired to defraud banks into unwittingly clearing transactions linked to Iran in violation of USA sanctions. He also praised Trump for helping business by cutting taxes, and called Huawei "only a sesame seed" in the wider U.S. T-Mobile didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. A jury in 2017 ruled that Huawei misappropriated T-Mobile's trade secrets and awarded $4.8 million to T-Mobile, according to FierceWireless.

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Earlier this week, Huawei's reclusive CEO and founder, Ren Zhengfei, spoke with foreign media for the first time since 2015 to vehemently deny charges of espionage that continue to weigh on the 32-year-old company.

The company was found to have violated USA law in 2016 for selling USA technology to Iran, was fined up to US$1.2 billion and instructed to penalize its workers.

In August, Donald Trump signed legislation banning government agencies from using services from Huawei and ZTE, among other Chinese entities.

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