The U.S. Department of Justice on October 24 indicted more than 13 Chinese nationals, including two Chinese spies suspected of trying to interfere in the U.S. criminal investigation of Huawei, one of China’s largest technology companies.
Government charges made public in federal court in Brooklyn allege that two Chinese intelligence agents “intentionally, deliberately and corruptly” interfered with a criminal investigation of a “global telecommunications company.” The government wrote in a complaint (pdf). While the complaint did not name Huawei, sources close to the investigation confirmed the company’s identity, the Washington Post reported.
Guo Chun allegedly attempted to bribe a U.S. government employee they believed was recruited as a Chinese asset to steal information about the Huawei Criminal Investigation Information. However, the American employee provided the two men with false information provided by the FBI.
He and Wang face charges of obstructing official process and two counts of money laundering for funding the operation, raising approximately $61,000 in bitcoin to support their activities. The latest charges follow earlier charges against Huawei with bank fraud and extortion charges against Huawei between 2019 and 2020.
US fight against Chinese spies
These public charges were announced as part of a broader crackdown on China’s influence movement in the United States. “The Department of Justice will not tolerate any attempt by a foreign power to undermine the rule of law upon which our democracy is based,” U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said at a news conference Monday. “We will continue to vigorously protect the rights of every individual in our country, We will defend the integrity of our agency.” A new counterintelligence case against China is opened every 12 hours, a 13-fold increase from a few years ago, officials said.
Garland also announced two other sets of charges against Chinese nationals . Four have been accused of being unregistered foreign agents of the Chinese government, and seven others have been charged as part of a years-long campaign to pressure U.S. residents to return to China. Of the 13 Chinese nationals charged on October 24, only two have been arrested so far.
In recent years, with the continuous upgrading of Chinese enterprises and investors, the US government has strengthened its attention to Chinese enterprises and investors. A trade war with Asian powers. Huawei is far from the only Chinese company targeted by the U.S.: In recent years, the U.S. government has blocked deals that could have put dating apps under Chinese control Grindr is under Chinese control and Singapore-controlled US chipmaker Qualcomm (worried about Chinese influence); it forced multiple Chinese companies to leave New York Stock Exchange ; Trump sought to ban WeChat and TikTok, the latter still under investigation by an interagency national security panel .