Huawei Drama Intensifies: Executive Accused of Stealing Trade Secrets

Recently, The Wall Street Journal reported that Eric Xu, a high-level Huawei executive, has been accused of helping orchestrate an alleged conspiracy to steal industry secrets.

As claimed by CNEX Labs, a California-based electronics startup, the Huawei executive helped plot and attempt to steal trade secrets.

Both Huawei and CNEX have filed dueling lawsuits over trade secret theft.

The recently released transcript of the lawsuits offers some details into the locked-down trial.

CNEX claims that Xu “directed a Huawei engineer to analyze CNEX’s technical information” before posing as a potential CNEX customer in order to obtain further operational details. CNEX also notes that Xu was briefed on a plot to “surreptitiously gather” — steal — information from Xiamen University, which had a CNEX-manufactured computer memory board.

According to The Wall Street Journal article, Huawei lawyers admitted that Xu had been part of the command chain that had requested CNEX information, but denied that any trade secrets had been stolen.

Back in 2017, Huawei originally filed a lawsuit against Yiren Huang, CNEX’s co-founder. Huawei claimed that Huang (who left Huawei in 2013) had poached employees and used its patents to help build CNEX’s solid-state drive technology.

In retaliation, CNEX counter-sued, claiming that Huawei had misappropriated tech and was trying to get more information through the lawsuit.

Of course, Huawei’s most pressing problem right now probably has to do with the Trump administration signing an executive order banning American companies from dealing with Huawei.

The order comes from two places. On the one hand, many people fear that Huawei is going to use its telecom infrastructure to exploit security for Chinese espionage. On the other hand, many think it is retaliation against China in an ongoing trade war.

The trial based on CNEX’s claims will start on June 3, 2019.