The legal tension between the United States and Huawei has escalated once again, with the Department of Justice formally filing charges against the Chinese manufacturer. The charges target not only Huawei proper, but also Skycom and the company's CFO, Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested in Canada towards the end of last year.
Huawei, Skycom, and Wanzhou are all being charged with bank fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud. Huawei is also charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice in an investigation in the Eastern District of New York.
The charges relate to a number of different occurrences, namely an effort made by Huawei to steal information from T-Mobile regarding a robot named "Tappy", used to test phones. Huawei allegedly violated agreements with the Un-carrier and took pictures, measurements, and even stole a part of the robot so that it could attempt to replicate it.
While Huawei had initially claimed it wasn't involved in its employees' attempts to steal information, the investigation revealed that it was part of an organized effort by the company. Further investigation showed that the firm was offering rewards to its employees that found confidential information from other companies and sent it to Huawei. Other charges pertain to Huawei's efforts to go around U.S. sanctions against Iran.
The ongoing war between the United States and China's Huawei has been increasing the tension between the two countries, but none of the charges today point to any criminal activity by the Chinese government. This falls in line with statements from Huawei's founder earlier this month that claimed the firm didn't spy for the country.