According to Huawei, the US has instructed law enforcement to "threaten, menace, coerce, entice, and incite" current and former Huawei employees. Huawei says the US has unlawfully searched, detained and arrested Huawei staff; sent FBI agents to employees' homes; dug up old civil cases that have been settled; and committed various other wrongdoings. (The full list of accusations is copied below.)
An unnamed source told The Wall Street Journal, that at least three employees from Huawei's US office have been contacted by US law enforcement agencies this year. But as the WSJ points out, it's not uncommon for FBI agents to visit current and former employees of a company that's under investigation. In addition to national security concerns, the US is reportedly investigating new allegations of intellectual property theft.
Huawei's accusations were made in a somewhat unrelated press release, which was meant to refute separate charges that Huawei committed patent infringement. Late last month, the WSJ reported that the US Department of Justice probed Huawei over allegations that it stole intellectual property patented in the US. In its press release today, Huawei said those allegations are false.
"We strongly condemn the malign, concerted effort by the US government to discredit Huawei and curb its leadership position in the industry," Huawei wrote. The company has repeatedly denied accusations made by the Trump administration, which has said that Huawei is at the mercy of Chinese government officials. But this is the first time since the US blacklisted Huawei, that the company has released its own list of accusations.
Huawei's allegations, as they appear in the press release, are copied below:
- Instructing law enforcement to threaten, menace, coerce, entice, and incite both current and former Huawei employees to turn against the company and work for them
- Unlawfully searching, detaining, and even arresting Huawei employees and Huawei partners
- Attempting entrapment, or pretending to be Huawei employees to establish legal pretense for unfounded accusations against the company
- Launching cyber attacks to infiltrate Huawei's intranet and internal information systems
- Sending FBI agents to the homes of Huawei employees and pressuring them to collect information on the company
- Mobilizing and conspiring with companies that work with Huawei, or have a business conflict with Huawei, to bring unsubstantiated accusations against the company
- Launching investigations based on false media reports that target the company
- Digging up old civil cases that have already been settled, and selectively launching criminal investigations or filing criminal charges against Huawei based on claims of technology theft
- Obstructing normal business activities and technical communications through intimidation, denying visas, detaining shipment, etc