Huawei and China, Facing U.S. Charges, Have Few Ways to Retaliate

The file she was carrying, which the indictment said may have been deleted before being discovered, contained “suggested talking points” about Huawei’s relationship with Skycom, the company that prosecutors accuse Huawei of using as an unofficial subsidiary to obtain American-sourced goods, technology and services for its Iranian business.

The indictment also said Skycom employed at least one United States citizen in Iran, a violation of American law. And it said that after Huawei found out that the United States was pursuing a criminal investigation in 2017, the company destroyed evidence and tried to move unspecified witnesses who knew about its Iranian business to China, beyond the reach of the American government.

The other indictment, which concerns the theft of trade secrets from the American wireless provider T-Mobile, refers to internal emails describing a plot to steal testing equipment from T-Mobile’s lab in Bellevue, Wash.

Huawei has contended that its employees were acting on their own to learn more about a robot that T-Mobile used to test smartphones, nicknamed Tappy because it could rapidly tap a phone screen. But the indictment cites multiple emails exchanged between Huawei engineers urging those with access to Tappy to take increasingly precise measurements.

Ren Zhengfei, the founder and chief executive of Huawei, is Ms. Meng’s father.CreditVincent Yu/Associated Press

Eventually, the indictment says, a Huawei engineer was sneaked into the Tappy laboratory by other Huawei employees who had access. He was caught and thrown out but returned, the indictment said.

Later, after all but one Huawei employee had their access to the robot revoked, the employee took a Tappy robotic arm home for closer study, according to the indictment. A Huawei investigation into the issue, which concluded there was minimal coordination among the engineers, contained false statements, the indictment said.

The indictment also cites a Huawei program started in 2013 to reward employees for stealing confidential information from competitors. They were directed to post such information to an internal Huawei website, or in special cases to an encrypted email address, the indictment said. Bonuses were apportioned to those who stole the most valuable information, it said.