Media Moves

Huawei accuses the U.S. of cyberattacks

September 3, 2019

Posted by Irina Slav

Huawei has accused the U.S. government of targeting it with cyberattacks.

Steve Goldstein had the news for MarketWatch, citing a company statement:

Huawei, the Chinese telecoms giant, on Tuesday said the U.S. has launched cyber attacks against it to infiltrate intranet and internal information systems as it denied a series of allegations. Huawei also denied allegations in a report in the Wall Street Journal that it stole smartphone-camera patents. “The fact remains that none of Huawei’s core technology has been the subject of any criminal case brought against the company, and none of the accusations levied by the U.S. government have been supported with sufficient evidence. We strongly condemn the malign, concerted effort by the U.S. government to discredit Huawei and curb its leadership position in the industry,” the company said in a statement.

Bloomberg’s Edwin Chan provided the details:

China’s largest technology company claimed the American government had instructed law enforcement agencies to threaten and attempt to manipulate its employees. Huawei also accused the U.S. of launching attacks against its networks, the company said in a statement without saying how it obtained that information.

The accusations ratchet up tensions between Huawei and the Trump administration, which has accused the networking giant of aiding Beijing in espionage and labeled it a national security risk. Washington has blacklisted the Chinese company, curbing the sales of the technology Huawei needs to make phones and telecommunications equipment.

“It has been using every tool at its disposal – including both judicial and administrative powers, as well as a host of other unscrupulous means – to disrupt the normal business operations of Huawei and its partners,” the company said. Other measures included “instructing law enforcement to threaten, menace, coerce, entice, and incite both current and former Huawei employees to turn against the company and work for them.”

Zak Doffman had some background for Forbes:

Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that “U.S. prosecutors are looking into additional instances of alleged technology theft—potentially expanding beyond existing criminal cases.” Among the new allegations, the WSJ reported that “Huawei stole smartphone camera technology from Rui Oliveira, a multimedia producer from Portugal—after Oliveira accused the company of stealing intellectual property in his U.S. patents.”

Oliveira is the CEO of Portuguese tech company Imaginew, and back in 2014 he secured meetings with Huawei execs in the U.S. to pitch a new “patent-pending” camera design. Nothing came of the meeting, but three years later Huawei launched its own camera product that Oliveria claims was a lift from his own invention. The businessman engaged lawyers to resolve the situation, only to find that Huawei was doing the same—mounting a legal challenge back at him.

The newspaper reported that the FBI and federal prosecutors met with Oliveira, asking for details as to the Huawei executives who had participated in meetings during which Oliveira alleges that designs were presented and later stolen.

Huawei has acknowledged the meeting, saying that in May, 2014, “representatives from Huawei’s U.S. subsidiary met with Oliveira per his request. At the meeting, Oliveira pitched his camera design, which he alleged to have U.S. patent pending, to Huawei. Huawei did not use his design.”

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