An inset image of the Huawei logo and the company's CFO Meng Wenzhou

The United States has filed criminal charges against Chinese technology giant Huawei accusing the firm of threatening its national security in a move that will further sour the already strained relationship between the world’s two largest economies which are locked in a vicious trade tiff.

DOJ (US Justice Department) on Monday unsealed two cases against Huawei accusing the phone maker of attempting to steal trade secrets from T-Mobile and promising bonuses to employees who collected confidential information on competitors. DOJ is also accusing Huawei of covertly working to thwart US sanctions on Iran.

Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Director Christopher Wray on Monday during a press conference revealed that the agency will be formally charging Meng Wenzhou, Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) who was arrested in Canada in December 2018 adding that the US is looking to extradite Ms Wenzhou.

“Huawei relied on dishonest business practices that contradict the economic principles that have allowed American companies and the United States to thrive. The prosperity that drives our economic security is inherently linked to our national security. The immense influence that the Chinese government holds over Chinese corporations like Huawei represents a threat to both.” said Mr Wray.

In a quick rejoinder, Huawei dismissed the allegations against it and its CFO.

“Huawei denies that it or its subsidiary or affiliate have committed any of the asserted violations of US law set forth in each of the indictments, is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng, and believes the US courts will ultimately reach the same conclusion,” Huawei said in a statement released on Monday.

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The Chinese government however was not too diplomatic accusing US of cracking down on Chinese companies in an attempt to kill their business operations.

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“We strongly urge the United States to stop its unreasonable crackdown on Chinese companies, including Huawei. The United States should immediately withdraw its arrest warrant on Ms. Meng and refrain from making a formal extradition request to avoid walking further down a wrong path” Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in a statement.

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