Huawei has accused the US government of carrying out cyber attacks on its computer networks and threatening its staff.
The Chinese tech firm issued a statement today alleging that the FBI and other US law enforcement bodies had “threatened, menaced and coerced” Huawei employees in a bid to extract information.
US officials went to the homes of both current and former staff in an attempt to hire them as informants, according to people familiar with the matter.
The accusations mark the latest escalation in a long-running conflict between Huawei and President Donald Trump’s administration.
Trump has added Huawei to a trade blacklist over fears its technology could be used for spying by authorities in Beijing. Huawei has always denied the accusations.
However, Trump has extended a reprieve on the ban as the two sides struggle to make progress in trade talks.
In its statement Huawei also accused the US of “obstructing normal business activities and technical communications through intimidation, denying visas and detaining shipments”.
The latest salvo came as Huawei denied it had stolen a smartphone camera patent from a Portuguese inventor.
Rui Pedro Oliveira has accused the Chinese company of using his product following a meeting in 2014, and the US Department of Justice has launched an investigation.
But Huawei rejected the claim and said Oliveira was “taking advantage of the current geopolitical situation”.
The UK has delayed issuing its verdict on whether to ban Huawei from national infrastructure, and the country’s first 5G networks have been launched using the Chinese firm’s technology. Culture secretary Nicky Morgan has said the government will publish its decision in the autumn.
The US state department has been contacted for comment.
Main image credit: Getty