Huawei Accused Of Trade Theft Again, Chinese Professor Charged

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As if the evidence hasn't piled up against Huawei enough, the Shenzhen-based OEM is charged with trade theft — again. A circuit board is at the heart of the latest trade theft incident.

Circuit Board Trade Theft

A tech company in California says that Xiamen University Associate Professor Bo Mao, who started teaching at a Texas university last Fall, contacted a California tech company (unnamed in the case) about a circuit board. Mao said he wanted to use it for research, but he obtained it for Huawei.

US prosecutors have now charged Bo Mao with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, having him arrested on August 14th, and discharged on August 20th due to a $100,000 bond fee Mao paid. Brooklyn federal court will continue the case against Mao on Wednesday.

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On Trade Theft: This Isn't The First Time

The complaints against Huawei and its criminal trade theft activities are starting to pile up. The case with Bo Mao and the circuit board from the unnamed California tech company isn't the first time Huawei's been accused of trade theft. The company was accused earlier this year of stealing trade secrets from Deutsche Telekom-owned carrier T-Mobile about its smartphone-testing robot, Tappy. T-Mobile won its trade theft lawsuit, which indicates that there was sufficient evidence against Huawei that it was guilty. And if someone's tried trade theft before, there's a good chance that the person or company would try it again.

The story behind Huawei's theft of Tappy matches the events behind the circuit board theft in that Huawei had to see the robot up-close, then take pictures, and so on. Huawei went the trade theft route after asking T-Mobile whether or not it would sell Tappy. Mao had to get up close and personal with the circuit board, and then use what knowledge of the circuit board he gained in investigation to give secrets to Huawei about the technology.

Integrity in Desperate Times

Integrity is always key, and companies that lack it are those that lose profit in the long run. Huawei finds itself currently in desperate times, having been placed on the US Entity List back in mid-May, and being denied the right to sell its devices in the US — or buy from American suppliers.

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And even in the midst of the Trump Ban, Huawei still had a secret plan to smuggle its phones illegally into Mexico, disguise them by painting over them, then smuggle them across the Mexico border into the US to sell them. Keep in mind that Huawei knew the phone smuggling idea was illegal, yet would have done it anyway without blinking.

Huawei continues to make the case that the US is against them and is treating them unfairly, but that isn't the case. If there were no evidence of Huawei breaking the rules and disregarding the law, perhaps the company would have something to stand on. However, continued persistence in lawbreaking, violations, and exposing legal loopholes (such as demanding American carrier Verizon Wireless pay 5G patent royalties to the tune of $1 billion while Huawei itself is under the US Ban) demonstrates that Huawei is ruthless and has little regard for the law.

It's understandable that the company is under great financial distress. The company is said to be in for a $30 billion loss over two years due to the Trump Ban. Huawei is said to have lost 13 million smartphone sales this year behind its revoked Android license. Even with the company's new HarmonyOS, most European customers only want Google's Android. Huawei has already seen smartphone decline in places such as Germany and Spain behind the Trump Ban, early on, and those are only a foreshadowing of financial decline to come.

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With all this financial decline, it's understandable that Huawei would want to do whatever it can to bounce back from it all, but stealing circuit board technology to pull it off is nothing short of dishonest and morally repugnant.

If Huawei wants to prove its innocence, continued trade thefts is not the way to do it.