US trade secrets case against Huawei set for 2020 trial

Huawei on Thursday pleaded not guilty to federal charges that it tried to steal trade secrets from T-Mobile.

The Chinese phone and telecom company was arraigned in Seattle federal court, where a judge set a trial for March 2, 2020. The US Justice Department made the charges public last month.

The case is just one flank of a broader pressure campaign against the company by the US government, which claims Huawei’s technology poses a national security threat.

The Trump administration has been trying to persuade its allies to shut out Huawei products from next-generation 5G wireless networks.

The company also faces charges in New York for allegedly working to skirt US sanctions on Iran.

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou has been charged in that case. She was arrested in Vancouver in December at the request of the United States, and now faces a court battle in Canada that could result in her extradition.

Meng’s arrest has had international ramifications and forced a diplomatic standoff between China and Canada.

China has angrily called for the Canadian government to return Meng, and multiple Canadians in China were subsequently detained. Canada has said it’s just following the letter of its extradition agreement with the United States.

How the cases figure into ongoing trade negotiations between the United States and China remains an open question.

President Donald Trump has suggested that he could consider the cases against Huawei as part of ongoing trade talks with China.