China’s Huawei Technologies Co, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer, and two of its U.S. subsidiaries have been charged with racketeering and conspiracy to steal trade secrets, according to a superseding indictment filed by the U.S. government on Thursday. The indictment also includes new allegations about Huawei and its subsidiaries’ involvement in projects in countries subject to sanctions, including Iran and North Korea. The concealed effort involved arranging shipment of Huawei technology and services to those countries, the feds allege. Huawei already faces charges for allegedly stealing intellectual property from U.S. firms through a combination of cyberattacks, espionage, and other means.
Huawei employees also lied about the company’s relationship to Skycom Tech, a Hong Kong company, “falsely asserting it was not a subsidiary of Huawei,” prosecutors said. In fact, it was an unofficial subsidiary that was involved with assisting Iran’s government in performing domestic surveillance, notably during the Tehran demonstrations in 2009, the indictment says. Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn said Huawei’s efforts to steal intellectual property—the targets included six U.S. tech companies—were successful. They reportedly obtained nonpublic intellectual property about robotics, cellular antenna technology, and internet router source code.