The Chinese company Huawei, a telecommunication giant, was put in the spotlight as the United States showed concerns over the possibility of Chinese spying through the use of their technology. Concerns grew larger back in early December of 2018 when Meng Wanzhou, daughter of founder Ren Zhengfei and current CFO of Huawei, was arrested by Canadian authorities at the request of the U.S. government due to suspicion of intellectual property theft and bypassing U.S. sanctions in Iran. Meng’s arrest and extradition to the U.S. were met with negative reactions and fervent denial of any crimes by the Chinese government as well as Huawei.
A press conference held Monday, January 28th, 2019, stated that Huawei did indeed make “concerted effort,” as stated by acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, to steal information involving Tappy, a phone-testing robot by T-Mobile. Whitaker and FBI Director Christopher Wray were joined by Department of Homeland (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and several U.S. attorneys for the announcement at DOJ headquarters. It was mentioned that Huawei instructed its employees to take photos of Tappy, and at one point even steal pieces of it for possible replication. These type of actions clearly go against the non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements with T-Mobile. The Justice Department is also accusing the company of offering bonuses to any employee able to deliver such information.
Reporters were told by Wray that “The charges unsealed today clearly allege that Huawei intentionally conspired to steal the intellectual property of an American company in an attempt to undermine the free and fair global marketplace,”