WASHINGTON — Two units of China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd are to be arraigned on Feb. 28 in Seattle on a 10-count indictment on charges they conspired to steal T-Mobile US Inc trade secrets, according to court filings Tuesday.
The Justice Department alleged that Huawei Device Co Ltd and Huawei Device USA Inc committed wire fraud and obstructed justice by stealing robotic technology from T-Mobile to test smartphones’ durability.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington said a corporate representative for Huawei would appear at the arraignment. Huawei did not immediately comment.
Separately, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn have also charged Huawei and its affiliates with bank and wire fraud on allegations that they violated sanctions against Iran. That separate 13-count indictment was made public Monday. No arraignment date has been set in that case, which has added to Washington’s tensions with Beijing.
T-Mobile had accused Huawei of stealing the technology, called “Tappy,” which mimicked human fingers and was used to test smartphones. Huawei has said the two companies settled their disputes in 2017.
The charges add to pressure from the U.S. government on Huawei, the world’s biggest telecommunications equipment maker. Washington is trying to prevent American companies from buying Huawei routers and switches and pressing allies to do the same.
Court records show the two Huawei units have retained several high-profile lawyers including former Deputy Attorney General Jim Cole, a partner at Sidley Austin LLP; former Justice Department lawyer David Bitkower, a partner at Jenner & Block; former federal prosecutor Robert Westinghouse, a partner at Yarmuth LLP; and two lawyers at Steptoe & Johnson LLP.