Huawei denies US allegations of technology theft

Portuguese inventor Rui Pedro Oliveira claims Huawei met him and then essentially ripped off one of his designs in order to produce the Huawei EnVizion 360 panoramic camera. (File/AFP)
Updated 03 September 2019

Huawei denies US allegations of technology theft

  • The United States is pressing allies, with mixed success, to reject Chinese 5G technology, especially from the giant mobile phone company Huawei
  • Washington fears that Huawei will provide Beijing with a way to spy on communications from the countries that use its products and services

PARIS: Beleaguered Chinese telecom giant Huawei on Tuesday denied accusations reported in the Wall Street Journal that it stole technology from a Portuguese inventor, accusing him of “taking advantage of the current geopolitical situation.”

The US Department of Justice is looking into the claim, potentially adding to existing criminal cases against Huawei, the WSJ reported last week. Huawei — considered the world leader in superfast 5G equipment and the world’s number two smartphone producer — was in May swept into a deepening trade war between Beijing and Washington, which has seen punitive tariffs slapped on hundreds of billions of dollars of two-way trade.

The latest controversy involves Portuguese inventor Rui Pedro Oliveira who claims Huawei met him and then essentially ripped off one of his designs in order to produce the Huawei EnVizion 360 panoramic camera. “These allegations are false,” Huawei said in a statement in which it “categorically rejects Mr. Oliveira’s claims of patent infringement.”

“For the past several months, the US government has been leveraging its political and diplomatic influence to lobby other governments to ban Huawei equipment. Furthermore, it has been using every tool at its disposal — including both judicial and administrative powers, as well as a host of other unscrupulous means — to disrupt the normal business operations of Huawei and its partners,” the Chinese company said.

It said “Oliveira proceeded to feed a false narrative to the media in an attempt to tarnish Huawei’s reputation. He made further efforts to exert pressure on Huawei through senior government officials, trying to make the company cede to his demands and hand over large sums of money.”

The United States is pressing allies, with mixed success, to reject Chinese 5G technology, especially from the giant mobile phone company Huawei. Washington fears that Huawei will provide Beijing with a way to spy on communications from the countries that use its products and services.

Huawei admitted meeting with Oliveira in 2014 but insisted that its EnVizion 360 camera was “independently designed and developed by Huawei’s employees having no access to Mr. Oliveira’s information.” Last month the US Commerce Department effectively suspended for a second time tough rules stopping the sale of components and services to the Chinese telecoms titan and a prohibition on buying equipment from it.

However, it also said it would add 46 more companies to its list of Huawei subsidiaries and affiliates that would be covered by the ban if it is implemented in full — taking the total on the list to more than 100. In December Canada arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou on a US warrant.


Turkish court upholds verdict against 12 ex-staff of opposition newspaper

Updated 21 November 2019

Turkish court upholds verdict against 12 ex-staff of opposition newspaper

  • 14 employees of Cumhuriyet were sentenced in April 2018 to various jail terms on terrorism charges
  • The case drew global outrage over press freedom under President Tayyip Erdogan

ISTANBUL: A Turkish court on Thursday upheld its conviction of 12 former employees of the opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper despite a higher court ruling, a lawyer for the newspaper said.
The court acquitted a 13th defendant, journalist Kadri Gursel, due to a ruling by the Constitutional Court, Turkey’s highest, said the lawyer, Tora Pekin.
In a case that drew global outrage over press freedom under President Tayyip Erdogan, 14 employees of Cumhuriyet — one of the few remaining voices critical of the government — were sentenced in April 2018 to various jail terms on terrorism charges.
They were accused of supporting the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party and the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front militant groups, as well as the network of US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Ankara says organized a 2016 failed coup. Gulen denies any involvement.
The Cumhuriyet staff have been in and out of jail for the duration of their trials. The 14th defendant, Cumhuriyet accountant Emre Iper, was released last month and his case is still under court review.
The Court of Cassation, Turkey’s high court of appeals, had ruled in September for the 13 defendants to be acquitted, with the exception of journalist and politician Ahmet Sik. The court said Sik should be tried for a different crime.
The case of the 12 defendants will now be re-evaluated by the Court of Cassation, Pekin said.
“With the Court of Cassation ruling (in September), we thought this endless arbitrariness and injustice were ending. But we understood in court today that it wasn’t so,” said Pekin.
Since the failed coup, authorities have jailed 77,000 people pending trial, while 150,000, including civil servants, judges, military personnel and others have been sacked or suspended from their jobs. Some 150 media outlets have also been closed.
A global press watchdog said on Tuesday more than 120 journalists were still being held in Turkey’s jails, a global record.
Turkey’s Western allies have voiced concern over the scale of the crackdown. Rights groups accuse Erdogan of using the coup as a pretext to quash dissent.