Huawei may have overtaken Apple in terms of overall smartphone sales, but it apparently believes it’s still got a lot to learn from the Cupertino giant.
According to a new report, Huawei tried to glean information about future Apple products from supply chain sources. This information included details about the Apple Watch’s heart rate-tracking tech and MacBook Pro connector cables.
Huawei spies reportedly approached suppliers, as well as assembly line workers for Foxconn. In some cases they approached suppliers with the promise of orders, but then used this to try and find out about Apple’s manufacturing processes. In others, they tried to get assembly workers to sketch out design parts. It’s not clear what, if any, information was obtained. (If the report is accurate, that is!)
This wouldn’t be the first time that Huawei has been accused of this type of behavior. In January, the U.S. Justice Department unsealed an indictment claiming Huawei of stealing trade secrets from T-Mobile. It claims that Huawei explicitly rewarded employees for this, including bonuses for confidential information.
Protecting trade secrets
Huawei has been in the news recently as part of growing tensions between the U.S. and China. Recently, its chief financial officer was arrested in Canada for allegedly violating U.S. sanctions by doing business in Iran. This reportedly led to a boycott of Apple products (as an American company) in China. However, the scale of these boycotts has been disputed.
This isn’t the first time that Apple has allegedly had to contend with people attempting to steal trade secrets. In the past year, two Chinese Apple employees have been caught trying to steal information about Apple’s car project.
Source: The Information