Huawei pleaded innocent to a conspiracy and racketeering indictment U.S. prosecutors laid out in February. Appearing before an NYC court earlier this week, the Chinese conglomerate’s representatives said the “unfair” charges were bogus.
Racketeering, corporate espionage, and conspiracy to commit both are just the latest additions to the dizzyingly long list of charges Huawei’s facing in the U.S.
The DOJ claims it can prove over two decades’ worth of IP theft on Huawei’s part. The criminal proceedings that are now moving forward are yet to official yield a record of concrete victims. Regardless, the robot theft dispute Huawei settled with T-Mobile in 2017 and Cisco’s 15-year-old router infringement lawsuit are understood to be part of the prosecution’s case.
Much like before, Huawei continues to claim Washington is targeting due to geopolitical interests threatened by its fast-growing business and technological inroads. On the other side of the conflict, American officials are still describing Huawei as an incessant violator of every rulebook under the sun.
The current state of affairs effectively killed Huawei’s ambitions to supply 5G infrastructure in North America. The ongoing China-U.S. economic tensions are hardly easing the situation. Trade talks or no, the Trump administration still appears disinterested in negotiating Huawei’s unenviable stateside position with Beijing.
Underlining that stallmate is the fact Huawei’s CFO has been under house arrest in Canada since late 2018. The DOJ accused Meng Wanzhou of orchestrating many of the conglomerate’s alleged crimes against foreign rivals. The daughter of Huawei’s founder has hence been fighting a U.S. extradition request from her Vancouver home ever since.
The case of Huawei: innocent until charged otherwise
The Shenzen-based tech giant has historically troubling relations with both the U.S. government and American companies alike. Its close ties to China’s communist party and numerous IP disputes in the West instigated much of that hostility.
A legislative initiative from Capitol Hill previously crippled Huawei’s supply chain, both in terms of hardware and software. The move was particularly damaging to the conglomerate’s consumer electronics division. Lacking other options, the firm started investing into its own mobile app ecosystem meant to rival that of Google. Though the effort still revolves around Android, Huawei may also replace Google’s ubiquitous OS in the long term.
The juggernaut already confirmed it’s developing a new mobile operating system back in 2018. That was before it even lost its Google Mobile Services license. Regardless of how Huawei’s clash with stateside authorities develops, there’s no doubt its Western ambitions will continue to suffer.