Chinese tech giant Huawei has accused the Justice Department of attempting to flip its employees into becoming informants for U.S. prosecutors as the Trump administration pursues legal proceedings against the company and some of its executives.
A company news release blasted U.S. attempts to “coerce” Huawei’s employees into serving U.S. interests, adding that attempts to level “unfounded accusations” against the company would be resisted.
“For the past several months, the US government has been leveraging its political and diplomatic influence to lobby other governments to ban Huawei equipment,” the news release read. “Furthermore, it has been using every tool at its disposal — including both judicial and administrative powers, as well as a host of other unscrupulous means — to disrupt the normal business operations of Huawei and its partners.”
Among a list of specific accusations in the news release is a claim that the Trump administration has sent “FBI agents to the homes of Huawei employees and pressur[ed] them to collect information on the company.”
The company also accuses the Trump administration of “launching cyber attacks to infiltrate Huawei’s intranet and internal information systems.”
Huawei did not provide any evidence of cyberattacks.
A spokesperson for the Justice Department told Reuters that the agency would not comment on specific cases, but noted that “in all matters, our investigative techniques comply with the law and all subjects of investigations enjoy the same rights to due process afforded by our Constitution and safeguarded by an independent judiciary.”
The Trump administration has had an ongoing battle with the telecom giant amid its growing trade war with China, accusing the tech company and smartphone manufacturer of providing backdoors in its technology for use by Chinese intelligence firms.
Huawei has forcefully denied the accusations.