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Huawei offered bonuses to employees for stealing trade secrets: DOJ



The Chinese electronics giant Huawei offered bonuses to its employees for stealing confidential information from outside companies, according to an indictment of the company on fraud charges issued Monday by the US Department of Justice.

Emails obtained during the federal investigation allegedly show that the stealing of trade secrets was a concerted effort by one of the world's leading smartphone makers, Huawei, as employees were offered bonuses based on the value of the information they trust.

In December, Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested during a stopover in Canada on allegations of violating trade sanctions with Iran. Huawei has been at the center of growing trade tensions between the US and China, as US lawmakers worry about the company working with the government of China to undermine American business. Huawei has long denied such charges.

On Monday, the US Department of Justice named Huawei and Wanzhou as national security threats, and announced that it had been the company, the exec, and two affiliates with bank and wire fraud, and charged Huawei with crimes including theft of intellectual property.

Read more: US calls Huawei and CFO Meng Wanzhou national security threats, indicts company and exec on fraud and IP theft charges

smartphones from a T-Mobile facility in Washington.

According to the indictment, Huawei employees violated confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements with T-Mobile beginning in 201

2 when its employees took photos, gathered measurements, and even a piece of T-Mobile's testing robot, dubbed "Tappy." The stolen information was sent back to Huawei by the employees through an encrypted email address, according to the indictment.

When T-Mobile originally discovered that its trade secrets were all compromised and raised concerns, Huawei claimed the employees involved in theft were working as "rogue actors," the indictment alleges. Huawei has said that it had its differences with T-Mobile in 2017.

Late Monday evening, a Huawei spokesperson duty Business Insider: "The company denies it or its subsidiary or affiliate set forth in each of the indictments, is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng, and believes the US courts will ultimately reach the same conclusion. "

The US Department of Justice responded to Business Insider's request for comment on Monday night.


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