U.S. charges China's Huawei with bank fraud

USA prosecutors filed criminal charges against Huawei Technologies Co., China's largest technology company, alleging it stole trade secrets from an American rival and committed bank fraud by violating sanctions against doing business with Iran.

In a 13-count indictment in Brooklyn, New York, the government alleged Huawei, two affiliated companies and Chief Financial Officer Wanzhou Meng of bank and wire fraud as well as conspiracy in connection with business in Iran.

In the NY indictment, prosecutors noted that Huawei used its affiliate, Skycom Tech Co.

Meng, the company's chief financial officer, was arrested in Canada on December 1.

Charges include bank and wire fraud, and conspiring to obstruct a grand jury.

Last month, Meng was detained in Canada at the behest of the US Justice Department over claims of doing business with Iran, in violation of US sanctions.

Acting U.S. attorney general Matthew Whitaker said Monday that a grand jury in NY had recommended the charges.

The White House is preparing an executive order to declare a national emergency that would bar US companies from using telecommunications equipment made by China's Huawei and ZTE.

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker announced criminal charges against Meng and other Huawei executives.

The charges come as the two countries' leaders seek to end their months-long trade war and with China's lead trade negotiator, Liu He, scheduled to meet with USA officials in Washington in coming days.

Whitaker confirmed that the Justice Department is proceeding with its extradition efforts against Meng in accordance with the existing timetable, which requires that the formal request be registered with the Canadian courts by Wednesday. Despite China's protest, U.S. prosecutors are now seeking the CFO's extradition to the US. Huawei and Huawei USA are charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice related to the grand jury investigation in the Eastern District of NY.

Huawei has always been considered a cybersecurity risk by U.S. authorities.

In December, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced charges against two Chinese men, citing evidence that they were hackers associated with the Ministry of State Security and had hacked into a dozen companies and government agencies in the U.S. and around the world, targeting intellectual property and confidential business information.