A Huawei executive was involved in a plot to steal trade secrets, claims California-based electronics startup CNEX Labs. Chinese telecommunications company Huawei and CNEX which was co-founded by a former Huawei employee have filed dueling lawsuits over trade secret theft.
Now, The Wall Street Journal reports that high-level Huawei figure Eric Xu has been accused of helping oversee an alleged conspiracy.
The Journal quotes a newly released hearing transcript that offers some details in a largely locked-down trial. According to its write-up, CNEX claims that Xu one of Huawei’s rotating chairmen “directed a Huawei engineer to analyze Cnex’s technical information.”
The engineer then allegedly posed as a potential CNEX customer to obtain details about its operations. CNEX also says that Xu was briefed on a plot to surreptitiously gather information from Xiamen University, which had obtained a computer memory board from CNEX.
According to the Journal, Huawei lawyers admitted that Xu had been “in the chain of command that had requested” information about CNEX, but they denied that any trade secrets had been stolen.
Huawei originally filed a lawsuit against CNEX co-founder Yiren Ronnie Huang in 2017, claiming Huang who left Huawei in 2013 had poached employees and used its patents to build CNEX’s solid-state drive technology. CNEX counter-sued, claiming that Huaweihad misappropriated its tech and was trying to gather even more information through the lawsuit.
A trial over CNEX’s claims is scheduled to start on June 3rd in Texas.