A Chinese professor in Texas was charged with fraud for allegedly stealing a US startup’s technology for Huawei Technologies Co.
Bo Mao received a criminal complaint from Silicon Valley’s CNEX for stealing the company’s solid-state drive computer containing cutting-edge technologies. The Chinese professor was arrested on Aug. 14 and was released after six days for a bond worth $100,000.
The criminal complaint did not mention Huawei by name, however, the case gives out information parallel to the civil suit filed by CNEX Labs Inc. against the Chinese telecommunications company.
Mao is said to have worked with CNEX way back in 2016 as part of the fraudulent scheme. His lawyer is also charged with conspiring to commit fraud and declines to comment on the issue.
The Chinese professor is teaching both in Texas and in China. He pleaded not guilty on Aug. 28 and has been released on bail.
Huawei’s Alleged Suspicious Activities
More than intellectual-property theft, Huawei has faced a lot of civil suits related to violating sanctions and creating fronts to steal something from other telecommunications companies.
One of the biggest issues Huawei faced is the T-Mobile scandal which claims that the Chinese smartphone company steals T-Mobile’s tech and tries to sell it to Iran. This has made US President Donald Trump order a complete ban on any Huawei products and technologies.
This new issue is something that the US government is looking closely because it appears that Huawei is funding Mao to get the cutting-edge technology of CNEX. According to The Wall Street Journal, Huawei donated $100,000 to the US university where Mao is working and make it appear as academic research. All the information gathered by Mao will be used by Huawei for its benefit and to further its technology.
Huawei denied the accusation saying, “Huawei technology disagrees that it or any of its employees were involved in any efforts to take CNEX trade secrets through a Chinese University or otherwise. Whatever arrangement CNEX may have entered into a Chinese research institution is between CNEX and that institution—and does not involve Huawei, and Huawei is not aware of any wrongdoing of the University or its employees.”
This incident is not the first time that Huawei attempted to get into CNEX Labs. In fact, in 2017, a former employee named Yiren Huang was arrested for stealing trade secrets. Huang is a former manager at US Huawei subsidiary and helped CNEX in 2013 before leaving the company.