The Chinese Technology giant Huawei pleaded not guilty Thursday to U.S. trade-theft charges in a Situation Which has heightened a trade dispute between the world’s two largest Markets.
The pleas were entered in federal court in Seattle, in which a 10-count indictment was unsealed in January against two Huawei units, Huawei Device Co. and Huawei Device USA.
The conspiracy charge carries a potential fine of $5 million or three times the value of the stolen trade secret, whichever is greater, the U.S. Attorney’s office said Thursday.
The U.S. has accused China of using predatory approaches to turn Chinese businesses into leaders in tech fields such as robotics and electrical vehicles.
From 2012 to 2014, prosecutors allege, Huawei engaged in a scheme to steal the tech supporting a robotic device which Bellevue, Washington-based T-Mobile utilized to examine telephones, according to the charges.
Prosecutors say one Huawei worker even eliminated the robot’s arm against T-Mobile’s laboratory, took detailed measurements and photographs of it, then sent the data on it to China; the provider says the employee acted independently and was later fired.
A federal jury in Seattle awarded T-Mobile $4.8 million in damages in 2017.
Huawei, the No. 2 smartphone maker and an important player in global communications networks, has also been charged in New York with lying to banks about deals that broken economic sanctions against Iran. The daughter of the organization’s founder has been detained in Canada and is awaiting extradition to the U.S. No arraignment was set in the New York case, however, Huawei denies the charges.
Trade talks involving the United States and China are far from conclusion, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told lawmakers Wednesday, however President Donald Trump increased hopes earlier in the week when he said he’d postpone a scheduled March 2 increase in tariffs on $200 billion of imports.