Huawei is making some of the biggest waves in the wireless industry right now. It's the world's No. 1 telecom supplier and No. 2 smartphone maker. Yet it's a pariah in several countries, including the US, to the point that the FBI reportedly set up a sting at CES 2019.
The Chinese telecom giant may have run into its biggest trouble yet in 2019. Late January saw the US Justice Department unsealed indictments that included 23 counts pertaining to the alleged theft of intellectual property, obstruction of justice and fraud related to its alleged evasion of US sanctions against Iran.
The core issue with Huawei has been concerns about its coziness with the Chinese government and fears that its equipment could be used to spy on other countries and companies. It's the reason why the US banned companies from using Huawei networking equipment in 2012 and the company was added to the US Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security Entity List on May 15, following an executive order from President Donald Trump effectively banning Huawei from US communications networks.
Over the last few months, there's been an upswing in scrutiny of Huawei, with a number of countries banning the use of its networking equipment. That's why its smartphones are virtually invisible in the US despite its massive presence around the world.
Huawei, for its part, has long denied any wrongdoing and continues to maintain its innocence through the recent charges.
It can be tough to keep pace with the sheer number of headlines, so let's put what's happened in 2018 and 2019 in a handy timeline. We've put the 2019 events first, with 2018's below if you want to dive deeper.