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Prosecutors are investigating Huawei for allegedly stealing trade secrets

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Federal prosecutors are investigating Chinese electronics giant Huawei for allegedly stealing trade secrets from US companies, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

One aspect of the criminal probe involves allegations that Huawei stole robotic technology used for testing smartphones from a T-Mobile facility in Washington, according to the report which cited anonymous sources. The report says that the investigation is advanced and may soon lead to an indictment.

Huawei is one of the world’s leading smartphone makers. The company has been at the center of growing trade tensions between the US and China, and has faced long running accusations in the US that its technology could be used by Beijing to spy on American citizens and businesses — charges which Huawei has strenuously denied.

In December, Huawei’s CFO was arrested during a stopover in Canada on allegations of violating trade sanctions with Iran.

The federal investigation apparently stems from civil lawsuits against Huawei, in particular a Seattle-based case which found the Chinese tech company liable for stealing robotic technology from T-Mobile’s Bellevue, Washington lab.

Huawei could not immediately be reached for comment.

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