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DoJ Prepping Criminal Probe of Huawei IP Theft: Report

Things could be about to get even worse for Huawei after a report claimed the US Department of Justice is readying an indictment against the firm for IP theft against global partner companies.

One of these is T-Mobile. That case has already been tried in a civil court in 2017, with a federal jury in Seattle siding with the US mobile carrier in finding Huawei liable for the theft of robotic technology it was developing.

The incident happened in 2014, when a Huawei engineer stole part of T-Mobile’s smartphone testing “Tappy” robot, whilst visiting its Bellevue lab as an industry partner.

Now the DoJ is reportedly flexing its muscles, with a criminal investigation into more widespread IP theft by the Shenzhen giant. An indictment could come soon, a person familiar with the matter told the WSJ.

It comes as CFO and daughter of Huawei’s founder, Meng Wanzhou, remains under house arrest in Vancouver awaiting extradition to the US.

This is said to be linked to another criminal investigation, into whether she conspired to trick US banks into unwittingly breaking sanctions on Iran by claiming Huawei subsidiary Skycom was a separate business.

All this comes as governments around the world continue to reassess whether Huawei represents a national security risk as a provider of 5G network equipment.

Although it has protested its innocence on numerous occasions, claiming it’s a victim of geopolitics, the US, New Zealand, Australia, Japan and others have banned or are restricting the firm.

In Poland, the government is mulling whether to change the law to do the same after a sales director in the country was arrested on suspicious of spying.

The German government this week became the latest to consider a ban on Huawei 5G products on national security grounds.

With 5G set to play a key role in critical infrastructure for years to come, the fear is that Huawei may be forced to do the bidding of the Chinese government in the future to provide it with a strategic advantage.

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