Huawei arraignment in Seattle trade secret case set for Feb 28

US prosecutors in Washington and New York unsealed two indictments against Huawei on Monday (Jan 28).
US prosecutors in Washington and New York unsealed two indictments against Huawei on Monday (Jan 28).PHOTO: AFP

BROOKLYN (BLOOMBERG) - Huawei Technologies, China's largest technology company, and its United States affiliate were ordered to appear in federal court in Seattle on Feb 28 to face charges that the company engaged in a scheme to steal trade secrets of T-Mobile US Inc.

US prosecutors in Washington and New York unsealed two indictments against Huawei on Monday (Jan 28).

The Seattle case entails a 10-count indictment that alleges that the company conspired to engage in a "concerted effort" to steal a mobile phone testing robot T-Mobile created called "Tappy". The case has been assigned to US District Judge Ricardo Martinez.

Huawei and Chinese technology companies more broadly have been the target of a broad US crackdown, but the charges announced on Monday mark a dramatic escalation of tensions between the world's two largest economies, as they are also caught in a trade war.

The case in Brooklyn alleges that Huawei, two affiliated companies and chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou engaged in bank and wire fraud as well as conspiracy in connection with business in Iran.

Meng was arrested in Vancouver on Dec 1 at the request of US authorities. The US government has formally sought her extradition, the two countries said on Monday.

She has been released on bail while a request to extradite her to the US is decided, and a procedural hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday concerning one of the sureties backing her C$10 million (S$10.2 million) bail.

Canada has 30 days from the receipt of the request to make a decision on whether to proceed with hearings, though Meng will have several opportunities to appeal. The final decision on extradition will be up to Canada's justice minister.