China’s Huawei Technologies company is once again under investigation by the Eastern District of New York over allegations of intellectual property theft from multiple companies over the course of several years.
Huawei, a multinational telecommunications firm, has also been the subject of previous lawsuits for trade secret theft by U.S. companies including Motorola Solutions, T-Mobile and Cisco. The firm was also cited for violation of trade sanctions against Iran when CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested on such allegations in 2018.
In May, following an extensive investigation by The Wall Street Journal into numerous accusations against Huawei of IP theft and employee poaching, the U.S. government barred all American companies from doing business with Huawei – a move the firm said put them $30 billion under projected revenue for the next two years.
Huawei’s growth has been on the back of the hard work and creativity of American companies, though it continues to deny such allegations. It is currently contesting a suit filed in Seattle by T-Mobile, accusing Huawei of stealing mobile phone testing technology and offering incentives for its employees to steal confidential information from competitors.
Chinese theft of American IP is a major issue for national security, as it destabilizes the economy by using the IP of U.S. companies to drive them out of business. There have been no signs that Chinese companies intend to cease attacks on the security of American companies, especially as it would appear that they have the green light from their own government.
In fact, a Chinese attack on our government’s own security – 22 million personnel files, top-secret security clearance and other sensitive data – in 2014 was one of China’s largest cybercrimes ever. China attacks on multiple fronts, even going so far as to continue to export fentanyl to the U.S., against warnings to cease, knowing that it is one of the leading causes of prescription drug overdoses in the country.
Huawei continues to fight lawsuits on multiple fronts, which hopefully indicates that governments at the state and federal level are cracking down hard on Chinese theft of intellectual property and trade secrets. It may seem like competing corporations squabbling amongst themselves over revenue potential, but the reality is the ripple effects for our economy are significant and long-lasting. It is important that we do everything possible to not only punish these actions but discourage them in the future.