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Huawei Faces Trial in US for Iran Dealings, Trade Secrets

Chinese tech giant faces a criminal trial in the US after talks failed to settle a years-long dispute over misleading banks about its business in Iran and allegations of trade secret theft

The Huawei logo is seen at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe in Paris. Photo: Reuters


Chinese tech giant Huawei is facing a criminal trial in the US for a case over misleading banks about its business in Iran and allegations of trade secret theft.

A District Court judge in New York agreed to set a date for what is expected to be a long trial after being told by a Justice Department lawyer that talks to settle the long-running claims had failed.

At a status conference on Thursday in Brooklyn, New York, Assistant US Attorney Alexander Solomon told Judge Ann Donnelly that “settlement discussions ended in an impasse. We believe it would be prudent to schedule a trial date.”


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The judge said she thought a “good placeholder” date for the trial to start would be the beginning of January 2026.

Meng Wanzhou waves after arriving at Shenzhen from Canada on Sept 25, 2021 (CCTV, Reuters TV).

The case, which has long strained US-China ties, began in 2018 with a sealed indictment that led to Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou being detained in Vancouver, Canada, on a US warrant.

As part of a 2021 deal, the charges against Meng, who is the daughter of the company’s founder, were dismissed.

The broader case against Huawei is pending. Huawei has pleaded not guilty.

Solomon said prosecutors expect the trial to last four to six months.

Douglas Axel, a lawyer for Huawei, said the company has a pending motion to split the case, essentially separating the bank fraud charges from the allegations of trade secret theft. But the government suggested they would oppose a split and that the charges were linked.

Huawei was indicted in 2018 on bank fraud charges of misleading HSBC and other banks about its business in Iran, which is subject to US sanctions.

In 2020, the Justice Department added more charges to the case, including that Huawei allegedly conspired to steal trade secrets from six US technology companies and helped Iran track protesters during anti-government demonstrations in 2009.

Meng entered a deferred prosecution agreement with US prosecutors in September 2021 in which she acknowledged having made false statements about Huawei’s Iran business.

After an unusual virtual hearing, she was allowed to fly to China from Canada. Shortly after, China released two Canadians it had been holding, and two American siblings who had been prevented from leaving the country were allowed to fly home.

Since 2019, the US has restricted Huawei’s access to US technology, accusing the company of activities contrary to US national security, which Huawei denies.

The company reported its fastest growth in four years in 2023, with a rebound in its consumer segment and income from new businesses like smart car components accelerating its recovery from the US restrictions.


  • Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard



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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years.


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