It's a new week, which means that there's a new report that places Huawei as the villain. This time, it's The Information that's reporting that the Chinese firm attempted to steal the tech behind Apple's heartrate sensor in the Apple Watch, which is approved by the FDA.
According to the report, a Huawei engineer contacted an Apple Watch supplier promising a manufacturing contract, with all of the skills of a "Nigerian Prince" scam email. Upon meeting with the supplier, which wasn't named due to a non-disclosure agreement, the engineer only pressed for information about the technology behind Apple's products.
The engineer sent a message to the supplier saying that, "Our design is similar to Apple's", and wanted to discuss pricing of a prototype before providing schematics, also promising that Huawei was planning to sell over a million units this year. Apparently, the supplier had issues with making a component that was too similar to Apple's, and the Huawei engineer "backpedaled", saying, "The shape of the product won't be the same."
That last statement is accurate, and it doesn't sound like backpedaling at all. Huawei has made a wide variety of wearable devices, and none of them are similar in shape to the Apple Watch. In fact, Apple's line of wearables is one of very few left that still have a rectangular design.
Huawei has been facing a lot of heat lately. With 5G on the horizon and Huawei being a leader in global telecommunications equipment, the United States doesn't want 5G infrastructure to be controlled by a Chinese company, and it has been pressing other countries to feel the same way. The U.S. government has also charged Huawei and executives with bank fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud.
The Information also noted that it's not at all uncommon for companies to try and steal their competitors' secrets, citing Apple's recent win in court over Samsung. It also noted that South Korean companies have approached suppliers in China like Foxconn.