Huawei is reportedly under federal investigation by the U.S. Justice Department

Canada Lu Shaye delivers a speech during the Belt and Road Initiative Conference at Carleton University in Ottawa Ontario Canada

Canada Lu Shaye delivers a speech during the Belt and Road Initiative Conference at Carleton University in Ottawa Ontario Canada

According to The Wall Street Journal, federal prosecutors are already in hot pursuit of a criminal investigation into the company for allegedly stealing USA trade secrets.

The investigation is linked to an earlier civil lawsuit against Huawei in which the company, the world's second largest manufacturer of mobile phones, was found guilty of stealing T-Mobile's smartphone technology.

An indictment could come soon, the Journal added.

The move would further escalate tensions between the United States and China after the arrest a year ago in Canada of Huawei's chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, who is the daughter of the company founder.

A group of bipartisan senators on Wednesday introduced a bill prohibiting the export of US-produced parts and components to telecommunication companies in China that have violated USA sanctions, Congressman Mike Gallaher's press office said in a release. A jury in 2017 ruled that Huawei misappropriated T-Mobile's trade secrets and awarded $4.8 million to T-Mobile, according to FierceWireless.

A civil lawsuit filed against Huawei by T-Mobile was one of the primary catalysts for the investigation. Meng is facing charges in the USA related to possible violations of trade sanctions on Iran.

The bills specifically cite ZTE and Huawei, both of which are viewed with suspicion in the U.S. because of fears their technology could be used to spy on Americans.

Huawei booth during the 2019 CES in Las Vegas Nevada U.S. Jan. 9 2019. REUTERS  Steve Marcus  File
Huawei is reportedly under federal investigation by the U.S. Justice Department

The Department of Justice is in the advanced stage of an investigation into the Chinese telecoms company over claims it stole technology from American companies.

Following recent controversies that have seen Chinese telecom manufacturer Huawei Technologies accused of spying, breaking sanctions, and stealing intellectual property, governments around the world are taking action.

In 2012, congressional committees and other USA government entities criticized Huawei's "pattern of disregard for the intellectual property rights of other entities and companies in the U.S".

Senators from the United States introduced the Telecommunications Denial Order Enforcement Act, which prohibits the export of parts of USA technology to Chinese telecommunications companies.

"The document generally doesn't really talk about Huawei equipment or concerns about the equipment itself, nor does it show any real issues that have developed so far", Styles told reporters at SaskTel's offices in Regina at the time.

For its part, ZTE agreed previous year to pay a $1 billion fine to the United States that had been imposed because the company breached a USA embargo on trade with Iran.

"Huawei is effectively an intelligence-gathering arm of the Chinese Communist Party whose founder and CEO was an engineer for the People's Liberation Army", Senator Cotton wrote in a statement. USA lawmakers have also banded together to ban chip sales to Huawei, ZTE, and other mainland companies to over sanctions violations.

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