US hits Huawei with new charges

U.S. prosecutors have brought two new charges against embattled Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, according to an indictment unsealed Thursday.

The indictment in the Eastern District Court of New York alleges that Huawei conspired to steal trade secrets and U.S. technology. It also charges Huawei and two America-based subsidiaries of Huawei with conspiracy to commit racketeering. Those follow previous charges of stealing intellectual property, wire fraud and obstruction of justice.

Huawei Devices, Huawei USA, Futurewei, Skycom and Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wangzhou are also listed as defendants.

Much of the addition to last year’s indictment centers around allegations that Huawei USA and Futurewei — which were both located in the U.S. at the time of the alleged Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act violations — misappropriated the technology of six U.S. companies by entering into confidentiality agreements and then breaking them. They allegedly recruited employees of the American companies and offered incentives for those employees to provide confidential information to Huawei.

The new charges stem from what prosecutors described as a “decades-long effort” by Huawei and its affiliates to steal U.S. intellectual property, including source codes, internet routers and antenna technology, to grow its business.

The indictment claims that Huawei was broadly successful in these efforts, allowing the world’s largest telecom equipment company to increase its margins.

Response: Huawei denied the allegations Thursday.

“This new indictment is part of the Justice Department’s attempt to irrevocably damage Huawei’s reputation and its business for reasons related to competition rather than law enforcement,” a spokesperson for the company told The Hill in a statement.

Big picture: The indictment comes amid rising scrutiny over the company from U.S. lawmakers and agencies after warnings from the intelligence community that Huawei poses a threat to national security.