The US government is pursuing criminal charges against Huawei for the alleged theft of trade secrets, it has emerged.
The Department of Justice is in the advanced stage of an investigation into the Chinese telecoms company over claims it stole technology from American companies.
Charges against Huawei would further escalate trade tensions between the US and China. Huawei is a national champion but has long been viewed with suspicion in Washington, with its equipment banned from American communications networks.
According to the Wall Street Journal the alleged theft includes robotic technology used by the mobile network T-Mobile, known as “Tappy”, which is used to test out smartphone touchscreens.
T-Mobile sued Huawei four years ago claiming the company had stolen the technology, winning a $4.8m (£3.7m) payout in 2017.
Huawei and the Department of Justice did not comment.
The Chinese company has already become a major part of the trade dispute between the US and China.
In December, its chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada at the request of the US government, which is seeking to have her extradited. Last week, an employee was arrested in Poland amid spying accusations, who the company has now sacked.