China’s Huawei technologies accused of stealing Apple’s trade secrets, reports The Information

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China’s Huawei Technologies which was recently accused by the U.S. government for stealing trade secrets have again come in light for using tactics to steal Apple’s trade secrets, The Information reports.

The tactics include Huawei engineers appealing to Apple’s third-party manufacturers and suppliers with promises of big orders. However, instead of using the opportunity to inquire on processes related to Apple’s component production, Huawei used suspicious tactics that tried to reverse engineer technology from Apple and other competitors in the electronics market.

Huawei has been trying to obtain technology from rivals, especially from Apple’s suppliers in China. Huawei has also previously copied a popular feature in Apple’s smartwatch. Last year in November, a Huawei engineer got in touch with a supplier that helps in making Apple’s heart rate sensor. The engineer arranged for a meeting on the pretext of offering the supplier a manufacturing contract. The Huawei engineer even emailed the executive a photo of material it was considering for a heart rate sensor and said, “Feel free to suggest a design you already have experience with.”

But the supplier didn’t leak out any details regarding the Smart Watch. In a statement to The Information, an Apple executive said, “They were trying their luck, but we wouldn’t tell them anything.


Apple Watch has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and  Huawei’s smartwatch didn’t receive good feedback as users complained about the performance of its heart rate monitor.

According to a spokesperson who was interviewed by The Information, “In conducting research and development, Huawei employees must search and use publicly available information and respect third-party intellectual property per our business-conduct guidelines.”

Reportedly, Huawei has been adding up to the fight between the U.S. and China. U.S. companies such as Motorola and Cisco Systems have made similar claims against Huawei in civil lawsuits. According to the report by The Information, Chicago-based company, Akhan Semiconductor which helps in making durable smartphone glass, said it cooperated with a federal investigation into a theft of its intellectual property by Huawei. Huawei has been accused of using the prospect of its business relationship with Akhan to acquire samples of its glass, which Huawei took and studied.

According to The Information, Huawei encouraged its employees to steal information and post it on an internal company website. The employees were also given an email address where they could send the information. Huawei had a formal program for rewarding employees that steal information. The employees get bonuses that increase based on the confidential value of the information. The company also assured employees they wouldn’t be punished for taking such actions.

Huawei was suspected of copying Apple’s connector which was developed in 2016, that made the MacBook Pro hinge thinner. Last year, Huawei’s MateBook Pro showed up a similar component which was made of 13 similar parts assembled in the same manner.

A former Apple employee when interviewed at Huawei was constantly asked about Apple’s upcoming products and technological features. The former Apple employee didn’t give any details and stopped interviewing at Huawei. The employee said, “It was clear they were more interested in trying to learn about Apple than they were in hiring me.”

People are shocked because of the tactics used these days. A comment on HackerNews reads, “the bar for trade secrets theft is pretty low these days.” Few others think that China is getting targeted by the media. Another comment reads, “Is it just me or does there seem to be a mainstream media narrative trying to stoke the fires of nationalism against China with Huawei being the current lightning rod?”

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