Tech

Huawei executive accused of stealing trade secrets from microchip company backed by Microsoft and Dell

Key Points
  • CNEX, a microchip company backed by Microsoft and Dell,  filed new allegations in a Texas suit accusing China's Huawei and an executive of trade secrets theft.
  • It's the latest filing in a suit set to go to trial June 3, in which CNEX alleged Huawei spent years trying to steal its data storage secrets.
  • Huawei has countered with its own suit filed earlier this month, alleging CNEX was the company trying to steal trade secrets.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is shown around the offices of Chinese tech firm Huawei technologies by its President Ren Zhengfei in London during his state visit in 2015.
Matthew Lloyd | AFP | Getty Images

CNEX, a microchip company backed by Microsoft and Dell, has filed new allegations in a Texas lawsuit accusing Chinese tech giant Huawei and one of its executives of stealing trade secrets.

It's the latest filing in a suit set to go to trial June 3. CNEX claims that Huawei spent years trying to steal its data storage secrets, while Huawei has countered with its own suit, filed earlier this month, alleging CNEX is the one that's been engaged in theft of trade secrets. Both companies have denied wrongdoing.

A Huawei spokesman called reports of CNEX's newest claims "misleading" and the allegations "unsubstantiated."

On Thursday, a Huawei spokesman said the company's recent filing against CNEX stems from a 2017 action 

The case comes as Huawei finds itself at the center of controversy in the U.S. The company, which makes computer networking equipment, is now subject to a "blacklisting" ban by the Trump administration, and faces criminal actions, including a federal trade secrets case in the state of Washington and allegations of fraud against its CFO, who is currently awaiting an extradition hearing in Vancouver.

CNEX has alleged that a Huawei deputy chairman, Eric Xu, directed an employee to pose as a potential customer and submit a report on his findings in order to obtain trade secrets for the company's chip research and development department.

CNEX also claims Huawei had ties with China's Xiamen University, and misappropriated trade secrets through that relationship.

Huawei's concurrent action against CNEX stems from a 2017 trade secrets theft case involving one of CNEX's founders, Yiren Huang, who now serves as the company's CTO. Huawei says Huang, a former employee, stole trade secrets and used them to form CNEX. "Huawei looks forward to pressing our claims against CNEX and Mr. Huang at trial," a Huawei spokesman said via email.

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