As early as 2007, Huawei employees allegedly began to misrepresent the company's relationship with its Iranian affiliate, which is called Skycom. Huawei employees allegedly told banking partners that Huawei had sold its ownership interest in Skycom—but these claims were false. In reality, Huawei sold Skycom to itself.
By claiming that Skycom was a separate company—and not an affiliate which Huawei controlled—Huawei allegedly asserted that all of its Iran business was in compliance with American sanctions. These alleged false claims led banks to do business with the company and, therefore, to unknowingly violate our laws. One bank facilitated more than $100 million worth of Skycom transactions through the United States and in just four years.
Huawei allegedly lied about other relationships, as well. In 2017, when one bank decided to terminate its global banking relationship with Huawei over concern about risk, the company allegedly told other banks that Huawei was distancing itself from the bank—not the other way around. Huawei allegedly did this in an attempt to, among other things, manipulate those other banks into expanding and maintaining their banking relationships with Huawei.
There are additional troubling allegations in the indictment as well, including that Huawei lied to the federal government, and attempted to obstruct justice by concealing and destroying evidence and by moving potential government witnesses back to China.