Huawei units plead not guilty to U.S. trade secret theft

Huawei units plead not guilty to U.S. trade secret theft
FILE PHOTO: People walk past a sign board of Huawei at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) Asia 2018 in Shanghai, China June 14, 2018. REUTERS/Aly Song   -  Copyright  Aly Song(Reuters)
By Reuters

(Reuters) – Huawei Device Co Ltd and Huawei Device USA Inc pleaded not guilty on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Seattle on fraud, trade secrets conspiracy and other charges, the Justice Department said.

The units of China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd were arraigned and Chief U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez set trial for March 2, 2020. The two companies were charged in an indictment unsealed last month that they conspired to steal T-Mobile US Inc trade secrets.

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 added 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 is pressing allies to do the same.

A senior U.S. cyber official said on Tuesday that European governments were listening to the U.S. message that Huawei exposes telecommunications networks to security risks. No evidence of spying has been presented publicly even as scrutiny on Huawei has intensified.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; writing by Meredith Mazzilli; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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