NEW YORK/BEIJING – China has blasted the US government’s indictments against Huawei as “unfair and immoral” and urged Washington to stop its “unreasonable suppression” of the Chinese telecommunications company after it was charged with a series of offences.
The Guardian reports that the US justice department charged Huawei and its chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, with conspiring to violate sanctions on Iran by doing business with Tehran through a subsidiary it tried to hide. Separately, it said Huawei stole robotic technology from the US carrier T-Mobile.
Wen Ku, a senior official at the ministry of industry and information technology, told reporters in Beijing on Tuesday January 29 the indictments were “unfair and immoral”.
According to the daily China’s foreign ministry expressed “grave concern” over the latest development and complained that US authorities had “mobilised state power to blacken” some Chinese companies “in an attempt to strangle fair and just operations”.
It added: “We strongly urge the United States to stop the unreasonable suppression of Chinese companies including Huawei and treat Chinese companies fairly and justly.”
The US Justice Department said Huawei had based its global expansion on “lies and deceit”. It accused the firm and its executives of stealing trade secrets, laundering money, obstructing justice and defrauding banks to elude US sanctions.
Huawei later said it was “disappointed” to learn of the charges and that its efforts to discuss them with US authorities were “rejected without explanation …”
The news sparked a slide across Asian stock markets, amid fears the Huawei case could damage the prospects for a long-awaited trade deal between China and the US.
The charges, likely to raise tensions between China and the US, come just ahead of a two-day meeting between Chinese and US officials aimed at resolving the long-running trade war. Donald Trump will meet China’s top economy envoy, Liu He, during the talks, which start in Washington tomorrow Wednesday January 30.
Speaking on Monday that: “China must hold its citizens and Chinese companies accountable for complying with the law,” Matthew Whitaker, the acting attorney general, announced that grand juries in Seattle and New York had issued indictments on 23 criminal charges.
Huawei is accused by the US of stealing robot technology from T-Mobile for making smartphones. The FBI said it obtained emails showing that in 2013, the company offered bonuses to employees based on the value of information they stole from other companies and sent home via an encrypted email address. Huawei has consistently denied wrongdoing.
According to the paper, Huawei, as a corporate entity, could be punished by a fine of three times the value of the stolen trade secret, and up to $500,000 for wire fraud and obstruction of justice.