Huawei Smartphone Quality Problems Led To ‘Tappy’ Robot Theft
More details relating to the alleged spying and the theft by Huawei of IP information are starting to emerge including claims that Huawei smartphones failed quality checks resulting in the Company “stealing” information about Tappy the robot. It’s also been revealed that Australian directors of Huawei have been accused by US authorities.
In 2017 a Seattle jury found Huawei liable for misappropriating robotic technology from T-Mobile, including Tappy. It awarded T-Mobile $4.8 million for a breach of contract claim. On a separate claim that Huawei stole trade secrets, the jury found it liable but didn’t award any damages. On Tuesday, Huawei said that the jury had “found neither damages nor wilful and malicious conduct” on a theft of trade secrets claim.
Now US officials claim this was part of a systematic effort with Huawei management moving to pay bonuses to employees who stole trade secrets.
The big Chinese Company also rewarded regions that provided the most valuable information.
Two separate indictments unsealed on Monday lay out 23 criminal charges alleging that Huawei violated sanctions and stole intellectual property. Prosecutors claim that there is a clear pattern of lies to U.S. authorities and business partners going back more than a decade.
Huawei in Australia has denied all the criminal charges in both indictments.
In other allegations prosecutors claim that Huawei’s founder falsely told the FBI in 2007 that Huawei had no direct dealings with any Iranian company.
Meng Wanzhou the CFO who is currently under house arrest in Canada was a director of Huawei’s Australian subsidiary between October 2005 and August 2011, according to corporate records.
She stands accused of being engaged in criminal activity for four of the years she was an Australian Huawei director.
As a director, she was responsible for Huawei’s corporate governance and strategy, as well as overseeing its early efforts to take part in Australia’s NBN roll-out.
The Wall Street Journal claims that In 2014, authorities questioned Meng Wanzhou at John F. Kennedy International Airport, and scraped her electronic device for information, the indictment shows.
Retrieved messages form part of the evidence underlying charges she committed bank fraud by misleading banks about Huawei’s ties to Iran.
The indictments paint a picture of a company going to great lengths to obtain trade secrets from a business partner, then cover up the alleged theft.
One indictment obtained by prosecutors in Brooklyn, N.Y., revealed excerpts from a file obtained from Ms. Meng’s electronic device at JFK airport.
The file includes “suggested talking points” about Huawei’s relationship with Skycom Tech Co. Prosecutors allege that Huawei claimed it was a separate company but that it was actually a subsidiary operating in Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions.
This allegation is the basis of the U.S. case that Huawei did business with Iran in violation of sanctions and that Ms. Meng played a key role to conceal the nature of the business from bankers.