The US has expanded its lawsuit against Huawei, accusing the Chinese telecoms giant of a “decades-long” plan to steal technology from US firms. Federal prosecutors announced Thursday new criminal charges against Huawei and two of its U.S. subsidiaries, which included racketeering conspiracy charges and a charge of plotting to steal trade secrets from American companies.
Prosecutors said the Chinese giant had violated the terms of partnerships with US companies and stolen trade secrets such as source code and robot technology. It adds to a list of other charges brought by the US last year.
Those accused Huawei of violating US sanctions and stealing technology from T-Mobile. Huawei has denied the claims.
The firm, one of the world’s biggest smartphone makers, said the US is targeting it because its expansion is a threat to American business interests.
“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.
In the updated indictment, the US accuses the tech company of racketeering and trade secret theft, and gives more detail. Prosecutors also said Huawei offered bonuses to staff who obtained “confidential information” from its competitors.
“As a consequence of its campaign to steal this technology and intellectual property, Huawei was able to drastically cut its research and development costs and associated delays, giving the company a significant and unfair competitive advantage,” prosecutors said.