Tech

Germany considers blocking Huawei from its 5G networks

Germany considers blocking Huawei from its 5G networks

Federal prosecutors "are pursuing a criminal investigation" of Chinese tech giant Huawei for allegedly stealing the trade secrets of USA firms, with the case in part based on allegations raised in civil lawsuits, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

Huawei and the Department of Justice did not comment.

United States authorities are in the "advanced" stages of a criminal probe that could result in an indictment of Chinese technology giant Huawei, a report said on Wednesday. In one of those cases, a Seattle jury ruled that Huawei misappropriated the robotic technology from T-Mobile's lab in Washington state.

Last year's effort to penalize foreign companies such as ZTE and Huawei was cast to the side after ZTE spent scores of money lobbying USA official against the measure.

China's envoy to Canada on Thursday (Jan 17) warned Ottawa of possible repercussions if it banned technology firm Huawei Technologies from supplying equipment to Canadian 5G networks, the latest blast in a deepening bilateral dispute.

Huawei has been accused of similar conduct-breaking US sanctions by selling technology to Iran under a subsidiary company named Skycom.

The company is among the world's biggest makers of telecommunications equipment but has been banned in the US since 2012 over fears it's a security risk.

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In a related move, U.S. politicians introduced a bill to ban the export of American parts and components to Chinese telecom companies that were in violation of United States export control or sanctions laws - with Huawei and fellow Chinese firm ZTE the likely targets.

There is a major trade war going on between the U.S. and China, and Huawei got caught in the crossfire. Overseas, Australia and New Zealand have recently barred local companies from using Huawei equipment, and British telecom BT said it would phase out using Huawei hardware and software. T-Mobile had sued Huawei for this back in 2014 and won the case in 2017, forcing Huawei to pay $4.8m. Both have also been accused of failing to respect US sanctions on Iran.

Earlier this week, Huawei's reclusive CEO and founder, Ren Zhengfei, spoke with foreign media for the first time since 2015 to vehemently deny charges of espionage that continue to weigh on the 32-year-old company.

A civil lawsuit filed against Huawei by T-Mobile was one of the primary catalysts for the investigation.

Huawei said in a statement the company and T-Mobile settled their disputes in 2017 following a USA jury verdict that found "neither damage, unjust enrichment nor willful and malicious conduct by Huawei in T-Mobile's trade secret claim".

She also blasted US legislators for proposals to block sales of American components to Chinese telecom companies, saying it amounted to "hysteria".


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