US files criminal charges in Huawei cases

The U.S. Department of Justice filed criminal charges Monday against Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of China tech giant Huawei and the daughter of its founder and president Ren Zhengfei.

The Justice Department also announced charges Monday against Huawei for allegedly stealing trade secrets from T-Mobile. The charges stem from a civil trade secrets lawsuit filed by T-Mobile in 2014 over a robot called “Tappy,” which was used in testing smartphones.

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker confirmed during a press conference that the Justice Department is seeking the extradition of Meng Wanzhou from Canada.

“We plan to file our formal extradition request and all the necessary documentation under the extradition treaty in the appropriate time frame,” Whitaker said. There is a Jan. 30 deadline for the request to be submitted.

Huawei said in a statement provided to CNBC that it was “disappointed to learn of the charges brought against the company today.” Here’s the rest of that statement:

After Ms. Meng’s arrest, the Company sought an opportunity to discuss the Eastern District of New York investigation with the Justice Department, but the request was rejected without explanation. The allegations in the Western District of Washington trade secret indictment were already the subject of a civil suit that was settled by the parties after a Seattle jury found neither damages nor willful and malicious conduct on the trade secret claim. The Company denies that it or its subsidiary or affiliate have committed any of the asserted violations of U.S. law set forth in each of the indictments, is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng, and believes the U.S. courts will ultimately reach the same conclusion.

China, meanwhile, said through an industry ministry official that the indictment against the company is unfair and immoral, according to Reuters.

FBI, DHS and Commerce officials announced the two actions on Monday, saying the allegations go back more than a decade. “Huawei and its senior executives repeatedly refused to respect U.S. law,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray, in Monday’s press conference. “Huawei … systematically sought to steal valuable trade secrets.”

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