Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang reiterated China's call for Canada to "make the correct choice" and release Meng so she could return to China. U.S. authorities have unsealed a 13-count indictment charging Huawei, two subsidiaries, and CFO Wanzhou Meng with an array of financial crimes including wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Furthermore, they say Huawei stole telecommunications technology, trade secrets and equipment from US cellphone provider T-Mobile USA, acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker told a news conference Monday.
"Huawei was also accused of stealing trade secrets from T-Mobile - robotic technology that tests smartphones, known as Tappy".
Huawei is also charged in a separate case with stealing trade secrets from T-Mobile, according to federal prosecutors.
Rather than being the work of one or two rogue actors, Whitaker said the alleged conduct bore the hallmarks of "corporate-sponsored behaviour" that was directed as company policy.
The charges add to pressure on Huawei, the world's biggest telecommunications equipment maker, from the USA government, which is trying to prevent American companies from buying Huawei routers and switches and pressing allies to do the same.
"These are very serious actions by a company that appears to be using corporate espionage and sanctions violations to not only enhance, potentially, their bottom line, but also to compete in the world economy", he said. When news reports in 2013 found that it was, "Huawei employees, and in particular Meng, continued to lie to Huawei's banking partners about Huawei's relationship with Skycom", the department says in a brief on the case.
The US said it would proceed with her formal extradition, a move certain to ratchet up tensions with China.
Washington has said it wants to try Meng on the allegations because, in her position as chief financial officer, she spoke directly to USA banks that loaned money.
The case has badly strained relations between China, Canada and the US.
Meng faces charges of bank fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit both bank fraud and wire fraud.
Whitaker said the criminal offending at Huawei went "all the way to the top of the company".
The charges come as the two countries' leaders seek to end their monthslong trade war and with China's lead trade negotiator, Liu He, scheduled to meet with United States officials in Washington in coming days. That order could come as early as next month, two officials said.
News of the charges comes just as the White House is making plans for a team of high-level economic advisers to meet a delegation from China later this week to talk trade between the two countries.