The US Department of Justice has brought 16 charges against Chinese tech giant Huawei, including espionage and theft of intellectual property.
The indictment issued by the DOJ lists many instances in which Huawei allegedly breached US laws and statutes, according to Tech Crunch.
For example, it was charged with “conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) statute”, by accessing third party trade secrets and then using them in their own products.
Another incident saw a Huawei employee discovered taking photos of the circuitry of a networking device in the dead of night, after an industry event had closed its doors. Huawei later said the individual wasn’t spying on behalf of the company.
“The indictment paints a damning portrait of an illegitimate organisation that lacks any regard for the law,” said two senators on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Richard Burr and Mark Warner.
Huawei also responded to the indictment, playing the charges down as unfounded and a reflection of US agenda.
“This new indictment is part of the Justice Department’s attempt to irrevocably damage Huawei’s reputation and its business for reasons related to competition rather than law enforcement,” the company said.
“The ‘racketeering enterprise’ that the government charged today is nothing more than a contrived repackaging of a handful of civil allegations that are almost 20 years old and that have never been the basis of any significant monetary judgement against Huawei. The government will not prevail on these charges which we will prove to be both unfounded and unfair.”
Huawei has been in US cross hairs for months now, with the government claiming its 5G infrastructure could be used by the Chinese regime for espionage, and as such presents a threat to national security.