HUAWEI'S WEEK has somehow got worse after a US startup accused the firm of stealing trade secrets; the Chinese firm is no stranger to such allegations.
In a lawsuit set for trial on 3 June in the Texas, semiconductor startup CNEX has accused Huawei of engaging in a "multi-year conspiracy" to steal the company's solid-state drive computer storage technology
The San Jose-based firm, which has received the backing of Dell and Microsoft, alleges that Eric Xu, one of Huawei's rotating CEOs instructed an employee to pose as a potential customer in order to obtain trade secrets for the company's chip research and development department.
CNEX also alleges Huawei had ties with China's Xiamen University and misappropriated trade secrets through that relationship.
In court documents seen by the Wall Street Journal, the startup claims Xiamen obtained a memory board from CNEX in 2017 under a licensing agreement, saying it would be used for academic research. But CNEX lawyer Eugene Mar said that "what was hidden from CNEX was that Xiamen was working with Huawei and had entered into an agreement separately with Huawei to provide them with all of their research test reports."
Huawei lawyers admitted that Xu had been "in the chain of command that had requested" information about CNEX, but denied that any trade secrets had been stolen.
"The relevant reports regarding the CNEX case are misleading and contain unsubstantiated allegations," Huawei in a statement given to The Verge. "The presiding judge has twice denied CNEX's attempts to drag Mr. Xu into the litigation.
"In addition, CNEX's legal team have such little faith in the Xiamen University conspiracy theory that they did not seek any documents or testimony from the university, its professors, or personnel."
Huawei hasn't found a new enemy in CNEX; the Chinese firm filed a lawsuit against the startup's co-founder Yiren 'Ronnie' Huang in 2017. It claims Huang, who left Huawei in 2013, had poached staff and used its patents to build CNEX's solid-state drive technology.
"Huawei looks forward to pressing our claims against CNEX and Mr. Huang at trial," a Huawei spokesperson said. µ
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