Huawei, the Chinese multinational conglomerate which specialises in telecommunications, has come under fire this week after the US Department of Justice charged the firm with a host of criminal charges, including the theft of intellectual property, fraud and conspiracy.
The tech conglomerate is the second biggest manufacturer of smartphones in the world after Samsung, however, following the news of the charges against the corporation, shares across the Asian stock markets have fallen causing trade fears. The charges, brought against the firm and its Chief Financial Officer, have been reported as the most serious Huawei has seen and further heighten the tensions between the US and China in their ongoing trade war.
The charges allege that Huawei stole smartphone durability testing technology from T-Mobile, the American global telecommunications company. Huawei has commented on this aspect of the charges, stating that this matter was dealt with in a lawsuit filed in 2014.
The charges also go on to allege that Huawei has misled the US about its relationship with two subsidiaries, Huawei USA and Skycom, allegedly in order to conduct business with Iran which constitutes a violation of the US economic sanctions against the country.
Both the US and other western countries have been concerned over Huawei's activities for a long time now; it has been reported that China uses Huawei as an agent so that it can spy on other nations. Huawei insists it is independent and gives no information to the Chinese government. Some fail to see how the firm can be independent from the government in circumstances where the founder is linked to the country's Communist Party however. Australia and New Zealand have already confirmed that they will no longer use Huawei products in their infrastructure development in advance of the rollout of 5g network capabilities, and BT has recently announced that it is scaling back its use of Huawei products in its own infrastructure upgrades.
With tensions soaring and stock markets sliding, the future seems uncertain for Huawei. We will keep you updated on the progress of the charges against Huawei as and when the story unfolds.
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