China called on the U.S. government on Tuesday to “stop the unreasonable crackdown” on Huawei after the U.S. stepped up pressure on the tech giant by indicting it on charges of stealing technology and violating sanctions on Iran, complicating high-level trade talks between the countries about to begin in Washington.
The Chinese government will “firmly defend” its companies, a foreign ministry statement said. It gave no indication whether Beijing might retaliate for the charges against Huawei, China’s first global tech brand and the biggest maker of switching gear for phone and internet companies.
The foreign ministry complained Washington has “mobilized state power” to hurt Chinese companies “in an attempt to strangle fair and just operations.”
“We strongly urge the United States to stop the unreasonable crackdown on Chinese companies including Huawei,” said the statement. It said Beijing will defend the “lawful rights and interests of Chinese companies” but gave no details.
Huawei Technologies Ltd., which has spent a decade battling U.S. accusations it is a front for Chinese spying, denied committing any of the violations cited in Monday’s indictment.
Huawei Technologies is disappointed to learn of the charges brought against the company and the company denies any law violations or wrongdoing, according to a statement the company sent to CGTN on Tuesday.
After the arrest of the company’s CFO Meng Wanzhou, Huawei sought an opportunity to discuss the Eastern District of New York investigation with the U.S. Justice Department, but the request was rejected without explanation, the statement said.
The allegations in the Western District of Washington trade secret indictment were already the subject of a civil suit that was settled by the parties after a Seattle jury found neither damages nor evidence of willful and malicious conduct, according to the company.
Huawei denies that it or its subsidiary or affiliate have committed any of the asserted violations of U.S. law set forth in each of the indictments, is not aware of any wrongdoing by Meng, and believes the U.S. courts will ultimately reach the same conclusion, the statement said.
The charges unsealed Monday by the Justice Department accused Huawei of trying to take a piece of a robot and other technology from a T-Mobile lab that was used to test smartphones. Huawei passed Apple in mid-2018 as the second-biggest global smartphone brand after Samsung.
Story compiled information from Associated Press and CGTN.