Legal officials in the US renewed scrutiny of Huawei, investigating fresh claims of intellectual property theft and dubious recruitment practices, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.
Federal investigators are reportedly digging into new allegations not covered by criminal charges filed against the company in January. Specifically, WSJ said officials are looking into whether Huawei stole smartphone camera technology from Portuguese inventor Rui Oliveira.
In a March interview with photography news website Fstoppers, Oliveria claimed Huawei stole his patented idea for an attachable smartphone camera after he allegedly met with company executives to discuss the technology in 2014. Huawei subsequently filed a lawsuit against Oliveria, asking a judge to rule it did not infringe on his patent with the release of its EnVizion 360 Camera in 2017.
Officials are also probing Huawei’s alleged practice of recruiting employees from rival companies, WSJ reported.
It is unclear whether the probe will lead to new criminal charges against the company.
Earlier this year, the Department of Justice charged Huawei with theft of intellectual property from operator T-Mobile US, as well as bank fraud and sanctions violations.
Huawei strenuously denied those allegations, and received support from the Chinese government, which said the charges were politically motivated.
The company faces a fine of up to $5 million or three-times the value of the stolen trade secret if found guilty of IP theft in that case.