Huawei’s equipment finally released from the USA after two years

Cornelia Mascio
Сентября 10, 2019

US prosecutors have charged a Chinese professor with fraud for allegedly taking technology from a California company to benefit Huawei Technologies Co.

A senior executive at beleaguered Chinese telecoms giant Huawei said on Tuesday (Sept 10) that Washington's trade ban on its products hits the USA economy more than the company.

A month later, in August, the gear was returned, after the government confirmed that Huawei never needed an export license for the gear in question.

In August, the USA government told Huawei that following an investigation it now accepted that no export licence was required and Huawei had followed correct export rules, but it offered no further explanation for the seizure.

The equipment includes Huawei's Ethernet switches and servers.

United States prosecutors have charged a Chinese professor with fraud for allegedly taking technology from a California company to benefit Huawei, in another shot at the embattled Chinese telecommunications equipment maker.

Bo Mao was arrested in Texas on August 14 and released six days later on $100,000 bond after he consented to proceed with the case in NY, according to court documents.

At the same time, the U.S. issued a sanction last week against a Chinese professor for allegedly conspiring to commit wire fraud.

Bo Mao is an associate professor at Xiamen University and was a visiting professor at the University of Texas at Arlington when he gained access to the circuit board technology.

Although the company has not been charged, Huawei said it views the case against Mao as the USA government's latest instance of "selective prosecution".

According to the court filing submitted by the USA government last month however, an expert witness who looked at the piece of technology alleges that "persons in possession of the Open-Channel SDK attempted a hack of the SDK board".

Washington fears that Huawei will provide Beijing with a way to spy on communications from countries that use its products and services.

In June, Huawei filed a complaint (PDF) in a District of Columbia court against the Department of Commerce, the Bureau of Industry and Security, and the Office of Export Enforcement in a bid to get its kit back.

In December, 2017, Huawei brought a lawsuit against CNEX and a former employee, Yiren Huang, claiming theft of trade secrets. Mao had asked for one of its circuit boards for a research project and that, after it sent the board to the professor, he used it for a study tied to Huawei.

However, the jury found that Huawei was not harmed and did not award any damages. The suit was filed in June, separately to the one the Chinese company brought against the United States for the overall ban on its equipment.

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