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The Justice Department unsealed criminal charges on Monday against Chinese tech giant Huawei, two of its subsidiaries and a top executive, who are accused of misleading banks about the company’s business and violating US sanctions.
The company is also charged in a separate case with stealing trade secrets from T-Mobile, according to federal prosecutors.
Prosecutors are seeking to extradite the company’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, and allege she committed fraud by misleading banks about Huawei’s business dealings in Iran. She was arrested on December 1 in Canada.
US prosecutors accused Huawei of using a Hong Kong shell company to sell equipment in Iran in violation of US sanctions. Huawei had done business in Iran through a Hong Kong company called Skycom and alleged that Meng mislead US banks into believing the two companies were separate, according to the Justice Department.
Huawei is the world’s biggest supplier of network gear used by phone and internet companies and has long been seen as a front for spying by the Chinese military or security services.
Prosecutors also allege that Huawei stole trade secrets, including the technology behind a robotic device that T-Mobile used to test smartphones, prosecutors said.
A jury in Seattle ruled that Huawei had misappropriated the robotic technology from T-Mobile’s lab in Washington state.
The Huawei case has set off a diplomatic spat with the three countries, which has threatened to complicate ties between the US and Canada.