Left Menu
Development News Edition

UPDATE 5-U.S. charges China's Huawei with conspiring to violate Iran sanctions

Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 29-01-2019 07:10 IST | Created: 29-01-2019 07:07 IST
UPDATE 5-U.S. charges China's Huawei with conspiring to violate Iran sanctions
Image Credit: Flickr

The United States on Monday announced criminal charges against China's Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, escalating a fight with the world's biggest telecommunications equipment maker and coming days before trade talks between Washington and Beijing. The Justice Department charged Huawei and its chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou with conspiring to violate U.S. sanctions on Iran by doing business with Tehran through a subsidiary it tried to hide and that was reported on by Reuters in 2012 https://reut.rs/2sRL7Ve and 2013 https://reut.rs/2sUq8RT.

In a separate case, the Justice Department said Huawei stole robotic technology from carrier T-Mobile US Inc. Huawei has said that the two companies settled their disputes in 2017. Meng, who is the daughter of Huawei's founder, was arrested in Canada in December and is fighting extradition to the United States. The charges against Meng, which include bank and wire fraud, were not unsealed until Monday.

Her arrest enraged China, which responded by arresting two Canadians on national security grounds. Beijing and Washington are engaging in high-level talks this week as part of negotiations intended to walk back trade tensions between the globe's two largest economies. U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the Huawei charges are "wholly separate" from the trade negotiations. U.S. authorities accuse Meng of playing a lead role in the scheme to use a subsidiary to conduct business in Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions against Tehran.

Meng has said that she is innocent and Huawei did not respond to requests for comment on the charges announced Monday. President Donald Trump said in December he could intervene in the case if it would serve national security interests or help close a trade deal with China. The Trump administration is trying to prevent American companies from buying Huawei routers and switches and pressing allies to do the same. U.S. security experts are concerned that the equipment could be used to spy on the United States. Huawei's founder, Ren Zhengfei, denies his company's products would be used by the Chinese government to spy.

CHINA TENSIONS

The charges against Meng and Huawei cite stories from Reuters in 2012 https://reut.rs/2sRL7Ve and 2013 https://reut.rs/2sUq8RT that said Huawei's Skycom unit had sought to sell goods to Iran in violation of U.S. laws. The indictment noted that the denials from Huawei in the stories were relied upon by financial institutions "in determining whether to continue their banking relationships with Huawei and its subsidiaries." Also according to the indictment, in July 2007, the FBI interviewed Huawei founder Ren and U.S. authorities say he falsely told them Huawei did not violate U.S. export laws.

In August 2013, Meng met with an executive from one bank, which is not identified in the indictment. Sources said the bank is HSBC Holdings Plc, which paid $1.92 billion in 2012 for violating U.S. anti-money-laundering and sanctions laws. During the meeting, Meng used a PowerPoint presentation that misrepresented Huawei operations in Iran and ownership and control of Skycom, according to the indictment.

If the banks knew about Huawei's violations of Iranian sanctions, they would have "reevaluated their banking relationships with Huawei," which included U.S. dollar and Euro clearing. The Justice Department has confirmed that HSBC is not under investigation in this case, HSBC said in a statement last month. Senator Mark Warner, a Democrat and the vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, praised the charges brought on Monday.

"It has been clear for some time that Huawei poses a threat to our national security, and I applaud the Trump administration for taking steps to finally hold the company accountable," he said. Warner has been active in congressional efforts to address technology threats from China, and introduced a bill in January to create a White House office to fight state-sponsored technology theft and defend critical supply chains. FBI Director Christopher Wray said the Huawei cases, which were filed in New York and Washington state, "expose Huawei's brazen and persistent actions to exploit American companies and financial institutions, and to threaten the free and fair global marketplace."

He also said he is concerned about Huawei devices in U.S. telecommunications networks. "That kind of access could give a foreign government the capacity to maliciously modify or steal information, conduct undetected espionage, or exert pressure or control." Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said the alleged criminal activity at Huawei "goes back at least 10 years and goes all the way to the top of the company."


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Turbulence surrounding tobacco control in Ghana

... ...

Smart healthcare: IoT redefining the way healthcare is delivered

As the world is embracing the new wave of digitalization triggered by the pandemic and the arrival of 5G, the adoption of IoT devices will further boom. With adoption set to soar, IoT security issues and other challenges cant be ignored any...

Refugee compassion and response: Ideas to mitigate disasters now and in their future

Their homeland becomes a forbidden territory for them and more likely than not, their journey to foreign soil is no less traumatizing, not to say deadly. It is crucial to help refugees live a life of dignity and purpose....

Inadequate water infrastructure causes a tidal wave of coronavirus in rural Alaska

... ...

Videos

Latest News

India fighting terrorism with new policy, process: PM on Mumbai attack anniv; another 26/11 on Indian soil now "almost impossible", says Rajnath

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said India is fighting terrorism with a new policy and a new process as he asserted the country can never forget the wounds of the 2008 Mumbai attack that left 166 people dead and over 300 others inj...

Euro zone bond yields edge down after dovish ECB messaging

Euro zone bond yields edged down on Thursday as dovish messaging from the European Central Banks chief economist and the minutes of its October meeting provided further confirmation of widely expected stimulus at its next gathering. Expecta...

Waheed Parra to be produced before NIA court in Jammu on Friday

PDP youth wing president Waheed ur Rehman Parra, arrested by the National Investigation Agency for allegedly conspiring with Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists to get their support during the 2019 parliamentary elections, will be produced before ...

Field of candidates widens in heated race for top ICC prosecutor job

A British lawyer looking into alleged atrocities by Islamic State and a Canadian who helped bring to justice perpetrators of Cambodias genocide are among five new candidates to lead the International Criminal Court. A process to fill the mo...

Give Feedback