The US Justice Department just unveiled 23 criminal charges against Huawei

The US Justice Department just unveiled 23 criminal charges against Huawei

U.S. authorities have unsealed a 13-count indictment charging Huawei, two subsidiaries, and CFO Wanzhou Meng with an array of financial crimes including wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Prosecutors filed a pair of indictments in federal court in recent weeks that were unsealed Monday - one in Washington state and one in NY - against Huawei, the latest development in a broader US crackdown against the Chinese company.

The charges in both cases add to USA pressure on Huawei, the world's biggest telecommunications equipment maker.

Meng - who was arrested at in Vancouver on December 1 at Washington's request - is expected to fight extradition to the United States, amid heavy pressure on Canada from Beijing, whose subsequent detention of two Canadians is seen as an act of retaliation for Meng's arrest.

The department also unsealed charges against Huawei for theft of trade secrets, attempted theft of trade secrets, wire fraud and obstruction of justice regarding the company's alleged theft of trade secrets from T-Mobile.

Meng Wanzhou has been officially charged two months after she was arrested at the Vancouver Airport.

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Charges include bank and wire fraud, and conspiring to obstruct a grand jury. According to Homeland Department Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Huawei and Meng "have engaged in a fraudulent financial scheme that is detrimental to the security of the United States".

The criminal charges in Brooklyn and Seattle come as trade talks between China and the USA are scheduled for this week. The U.S. said during its press conference it was "deeply grateful to the government of Canada" for following the rule of law.

"As you can tell from the number and magnitude of the charges, Huawei and its senior executives repeatedly refused to respect U.S. law and standard global business practices", said FBI Director Chris Wray.

"As early as 2007, Huawei employees began to misrepresent its relationship with its Iranian affiliate", said Whitaker. Federal prosecutors insist, however, that they are simply "law enforcement actions and are wholly separate" from the negotiations.

Meng's arrest December 1 touched off a political furor marked by days of angry anti-Canada rhetoric from China's foreign ministry, culminating Sunday in the firing of John McCallum as Canada's ambassador to China.

Meng, who has denied the charges, is now in Vancouver, staying in one of her family's homes, as she awaits a decision from a Canadian court on the US extradition request.

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