Federal prosecutors investigating Huawei for allegedly stealing trade secrets: report

Federal prosecutors investigating Huawei for allegedly stealing trade secrets: report
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Federal prosecutors have launched a criminal investigation into Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

The probe, reportedly built out of civil lawsuits against the firm, is examining whether the company allegedly stole trade secrets from U.S. companies.

People familiar with the probe told the Journal that it is at an advanced stage and that an indictment could soon be coming.

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A Justice Department spokesperson declined to comment to The Hill. A Huawei spokesperson declined to comment to the Journal.

Huawei has long faced scrutiny from both lawmakers and national security officials, who have labeled the firm as a national security threat over its ties to the Chinese government.

The company has denied that characterization, and China this week called for other countries to end “the groundless fabrications and unreasonable restrictions” on Huawei and other firms.

Tensions over Huawei ratcheted up late last year when the company’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada, at the request of U.S. officials.

Meng is awaiting possible extradition to the U.S., but President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump nominates ambassador to Turkey Trump heads to Mar-a-Lago after signing bill to avert shutdown CNN, MSNBC to air ad turned down by Fox over Nazi imagery MORE also suggested that he may intervene in the case if it would help obtain a better trade deal with China.

The conflict between Canada and China was also inflamed this week when a Chinese court sentenced Canadian citizen Robert Lloyd Schellenberg to death after he was convicted of being an accessory to drug smuggling. He had originally been sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused China of "arbitrarily" applying the death penalty in the case, and the U.S. State Department called the sentencing "politically motivated."

Trump is also reportedly considering an executive order that would ban U.S. companies from using Huawei products, which are already banned from the federal government.