BEIJING – China alleged on Tuesday that the United States was subjecting Chinese companies to unjustified repression after Washington filed criminal charges against Huawei, accusing the tech giant of banking fraud and stealing trade secrets from American competitors.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Geng Shuang in a statement said China was very “concerned” about the criminal complaint filed by the US Department of Justice against Huawei and its Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested and later released on bail in Canada.
Geng said Beijing had constantly required Chinese companies to carry out their economic activities abroad in compliance with the local laws.
China, he said, has urged the relevant countries to let Chinese companies operate normally in a just and non-discriminatory environment.
The spokesperson said the US had been using public offices to discredit and punish Chinese companies in an attempt to strangle their legitimate operations.
Geng said there had been “powerful” efforts and political manipulations behind such tactics, and urged the US to end its “unjustified” repression of Chinese companies.
The statement said China would “determinedly” defend the “legitimate” rights and interests of Chinese companies abroad.
The US government unveiled on Monday a pair of federal indictments against Huawei for allegedly committing banking fraud to evade US sanctions against Iran and industrial espionage against a US-based competitor.
Federal prosecutors also formalized a request to Canada for the extradition of Huawei executive Meng, the daughter of company founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei.
In an indictment filed in a New York court, the Department of Justice charged Huawei, two of its associates and Meng with 13 counts of fraud and conspiracy to evade US sanctions on Iran.
According to the US authorities, Huawei and its associates engaged in a “fraudulent” financial scheme with active participation of the company’s executives and were involved in a series of crimes including money laundering and obstruction of justice.
The indictments come amid a diplomatic crisis between Washington and Beijing as the representatives of the two sides are set to meet later this week to discuss the resolution of the bilateral trade war.