How Huawei planned international robot espionage via email – Engadget

How Huawei planned international robot espionage via email – Engadget

The subsequent actions and e mail exchanges had been compiled from the indictment signed on January 16th, 2019 (unsealed on January 28th). All bolded messages offered beneath are direct rates from Huawei e-mails, as explained in the indictment, while the supporting text has been compiled from the document’s bordering information.

What follows is a actual-everyday living, bumbling, company-tinged, worldwide spy drama that performed out around inner Huawei e-mails between 2012 and 2013, as similar by US prosecutors:

Date: May well 2012

From: R.Y. (Huawei United states Director of Technological Acceptance)

To: [email protected]

Subject matter: License TMO robotic

Questioned about licensing or buying Tappy, but TMO claimed no. They have no ideas to sell the robot program to any telephone company, like Huawei.

Date: July 2012

From: H.L. (Huawei Usa employee at T-Mobile)

To: [email protected]

Subject matter: Development report

For every ask for for photos and technological specs of TMO robotic (i.e. ingredient serial numbers, components and software package specifics) we ended up unable to acquire suitable data. They say it is because of facts protection restrictions. We were reminded that all Huawei personnel signed non-disclosure agreements.

Date: September 2012

From: H.P. (Huawei China Director of Device Screening Administration Section)

To: united states of [email protected]

Subject matter: Ambitions

The primary position is to determine out the Robot’s specs and capabilities. These are the benchmarks of goods produced by ourselves.

Date: September 2012

From: R.Y. (Huawei United states of america employee)

To: [email protected], [email protected]

Subject: examining in

T-Cellular is not prepared to share the element of robot tech/docs with Huawei or any makers. They refused to supply us the aspects of robot components and software package technical specs.

Date: November 2012

From: J.Y. (Huawei China engineer)

To: [email protected]

Issue: Reminder

This email is just a kindly reminder for the information and facts we have to have to make our possess robot technique and kindly suggestions the data we want in the attachment…


Date: November 2012

From: R.Y. (Huawei Usa worker)

To: A.X. (Huawei Usa engineer), [email protected]

Matter: FWD: Reminder

See concept from J.Y.


Date: November 2012

From: R.Y. (Huawei Usa staff)

To: [email protected]

Subject: Re: FWD: Reminder

Huawei United states of america engineers have accessed the robot lab… They know how TMO robotic perform and method data. I requested them to create down the facts in element and then ship to Huawei China.

Date: November 2012

From: A.X. (Huawei United states of america engineer)

To: [email protected]

Topic: Re: Re: FWD: Reminder

I am sorry we can not get far more info from TMO and we won’t be able to end the entire PowerPoint as we chat about. And as you know, we can take some shots of take a look at technique and location. Hope it is beneficial to HQ R&D.

Day: November 2012

From: A.X. (Huawei United states engineer)

To: [email protected], [email protected]

Subject: photos

Photos of Tappy robot and software package interface hooked up.





Day: December 2012

From: R.Y. (Huawei Usa staff)

To: [email protected], [email protected]

Matter: Stick to up

We bought not substantially details from TMO on these inquiries that you guys questioned. Once more, TMO is not going to want to share any additional details about their robotic system with us. However, we nonetheless try to find more information and facts in the course of our exam in TMO robot lab. But it would not count on any time soon.

Day: December 2012

From: J.Y. (Huawei China engineer)

To: [email protected], [email protected], united states of [email protected], [email protected]

Topic: xDeviceRobot troubles

We are continue to doing the job on the Robot system and we experienced some troubles with the procedure at the instant. A lot more information on Tappy is wanted. Are software program take a look at strips optimized for each device? What is Tappy’s touch velocity? How is the rubbed idea installed? Is there air house in the rubber tip?

Date: January 2013

From: A.X. (Huawei Usa engineer)

To: [email protected]

Subject matter: Re: xDeviceRobot challenges

See attached images of Tappy.



Day: January 2013

From: J.Y. (Huawei China engineer)

To: [email protected], [email protected], united states of [email protected]

Issue: Tappy arm

We will need much more specialized info, exclusively the reaction time accuracy of TMO’s mechanical arm.

Date: January 2013

From: A.X. (Huawei Usa engineer)

To: [email protected]

Subject: Re: Tappy arm

TMO will not give us this information.

Date: January 2013

From: R.Y. (Huawei United states of america staff)

To: [email protected], [email protected]

Issue: Re: Re: Tappy arm

As soon as once more, we Cannot question TMO any questions about the robot. TMO is Very angry the thoughts that we questioned. Sorry we cannot produce any extra info to you.

I consider a Huawei China engineer really should arrive to Seattle and observe Tappy immediately. You will learn a good deal in information and working experience.

Day: March 2013

From: F.W. (Huawei China engineer)

To: [email protected], [email protected]

Issue: xDeviceRobot update

From the benefits of the latest xDeviceRobot procedure verification, there is nevertheless a definite disparity with T-Cell.

H.L., can you accumulate info about the TMO robotic arm and tip? We need to have get in touch with space, hardness and stress.

Day: March 2013

From: H.L. (Huawei United states of america engineer)

To: [email protected]

Matter: Re: xDeviceRobot update

Gathering info from TMO is dangerous. I endorse getting in contact with the robot manufacturer in its place. Likely through TMO would only backfire, in particular immediately after signing a confidentiality agreement at the TMO laboratory, the relevance of this information and facts to us is incredibly sensitive.

Date: April 2013

From: J.Y. (Huawei China engineer)

To: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

Topic: xDeviceRobot – further more complications

We are nonetheless not on par with TMO robotic. Remember to mail far more details about calibration criteria, delay calculations and software package.

Date: April 2013

From: R.Y. (Huawei United states of america worker)

To: [email protected], [email protected]

Matter: Re: xDeviceRobot – further more problems

Initially of all, I am glad that HQ R&D has been continuing to enhance the Huawei robot technique. Primarily based on the test on TMO’s cell phone we do see a major distinction of examination results in between TMO robot and Huawei robot. I feel we have a great deal of function to improve our robotic performance. The change involving two is not only the hardware but also (most importantly) the software. TMO has devote a great deal extra income on application than components.

When once more, we are not able to get any more facts about TMO robot program from TMO. They have complained to us a large amount about this because we asked them much too lots of concerns of the robotic centered on HQ’s ask for. TMO claimed to me that if we check with them once again these kinds of queries, they do not let us to use their robot Lab. TMO has established up a security technique by placing digicam into the robot Lab. I think all people understands what this indicates. We can’t offer any even more information and facts to HQ since we can not get nearly anything from TMO.

The moment once more, I prompt HQ to ship an engineer to TMO for a arms-on working experience by playing the robotic program. I feel this would give HQ robot group a enormous benefit in being familiar with TMO robotic method from hardware and software program, as perfectly as procedure.

Date: April 2013

From: Huawei United states of america employee

To: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

Subject matter: Re: Re: xDeviceRobot – further challenges

This is why TMO will not share info with us, as significantly as I can convey to:

TMO is crystal clear that people such as Huawei and Samsung are not only providing TMO, but are also supplying their rivals these types of as Verizon, ATT, and other carriers.

  1. If every single Vendor is aided to build TMO screening natural environment and benchmarks, it would surely also boost the item high-quality, and so on. of every single Vendor’s competition, which is equivalent to TMO undertaking a excellent deed for the field.
  2. TMO took about 4 decades of time and loads of source optimization to acquire the Robotic process, and it consists of TMO’s intellectual house rights.
  3. TMO can present a free of charge tests environment for each individual Vendor, and it can be certain that this technique only companies TMO solutions. This only improves the competitiveness of TMO.

Day: April 2013

From: Huawei United states of america Executive Director of Specialized Acceptance

To: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

Issue: Re: Re: Re: xDeviceRobot – further problems

Access to Tappy by our engineers on the ground is strictly managed. They are limited to use of TMO’s robot, and anything else is categorically denied.

Thanks to answering headquarters’ concerns, our workforce have experienced two complaints lifted versus them, and it was declared that if we inquired once more, Huawei’s qualifications for making use of the TMO Robotic Laboratory would close. I echo former tips to send out an engineer from headquarters to see Tappy in particular person.

Day: April 2013

From: F.W. (Huawei China engineer)

To: Huawei Usa Executive Director of Technical Acceptance

Issue: Vacation to Washington

>There are a selection of goals for my journey to T-Mobile HQ, but mainly-

  • Gather in-depth specialized data on Tappy components and software package
  • Consider photographs and video clips
  • For the mechanical arm difficulties, go to the laboratory for reconnaissance and acquire measurement information

I anticipate to arrive in Washington on Could eleven.

Date: Could 2013

From: F.W. (Huawei China engineer)

To: [email protected], [email protected], Director of Machine Testing Management Department

Issue: Reconnaissance

A.X. has enable me into the Tappy laboratory 2 times in excess of the past few days. Equally occasions we were being learned by a T-Mobile staff and I was requested to leave, due to the fact I wasn’t allowed to be there. I noticed the robotic on each visits and took pics on the 2nd.

I went when more today to TMO’s mechanical arm tests laboratory and attained an in general being familiar with of the exam ecosystem. I summarized it, be sure to choose a glance in the connected document and shots.

TMO has manufactured it clear that I am not allowed to re-enter the robotic laboratory. Likely forward, A.X. will assist you get a further understanding of the remaining data.

Robotic Environmental Information and facts.doc






Date: May perhaps 2013

From: T-Cell spouse relations

To: united [email protected]

Subject matter: Return all badges straight away

Due to modern and recurring violations of T-Mobile’s on-web page guidelines, Huawei USA’s accessibility to the Tappy laboratory has been revoked. All Huawei United states of america workers must return their badges to T-Cellular, with the exception of A.X., who will be the only Huawei United states of america employee with entry to the testing facilities. This is only so Huawei can finish minimal testing on in-development tasks.

Day: Might 2013

From: J.Y. (Huawei China engineer)

To: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

Issue: Required data

The engineering group desires much more facts about the TMO robot:

  • exact specs, operations and a listing of parts used
  • how it calculates UI reaction time
  • form, diameter and hardness of suggestion
  • how it handles force
  • sensors utilised to help the arm and digital camera
  • lots of photographs and video clips of examination process

Date: Might 2013

From: A.X. (Huawei Usa engineer)

To: [email protected]

Subject matter: Re: Necessary data

We will absolutely enable if we can this time period is quite sensitive.

In regards to images and movies, soon after TMO gives again our badges, I will send it back property. No have to have for property to hold reminding me.

Day: Could 2013

From: [email protected]uawei

To: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

Subject: Robot arm

The xDeviceRobot staff demands specs on the arm. Particularly, the diameter of the stop idea of the conductor adhere.

Day: May well 2013

From: F.W. (Huawei China engineer)

To: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

Issue: Re: Robotic arm

A.X. was ready to take away the robot arm from the laboratory with no currently being detected and I took specific measurements. Nonetheless, TMO quickly learned the arm was missing and A.X. was forced to return the part the pursuing day. A.X. explained to them it was taken by blunder. Our accessibility to the lab has been fully revoked and Huawei United states of america employees are no extended allowed inside of the facility unsupervised.

I’ve attached in depth measurements of the arm. See pics for aspects.






Day: >May 2013

From: [email protected]

To: [email protected]

Matter: actual tip measurements

Can you evaluate the conductor stick with a caliper gadget?

Day: Could 2013

From: [email protected]

To: [email protected]

Topic: Re: exact tip measurements

F.W. has now sent the pictures house.

The felony costs lodged towards Huawei in the T-Cell scenario are just section of the Chinese firm’s worries at the second. This 7 days, the US submitted 23 overall costs against Huawei similar to trade-magic formula and sanctions violations.

The thirteen sanctions expenses stem from the firm’s dealings with Iran. Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou is accused of committing fraud to bypass Iran sanctions and deliver US-manufactured technology into the country. She was arrested in Canada past thirty day period at the request of US authorities. Though she’s presently out on bail, she faces extradition to the US.

About the T-Mobile condition, Huawei states the case has previously been settled. And it has been, in civil courtroom — just after hearing the tale in 2017, a Seattle jury forced Huawei to fork out T-Cell $four.eight million in damages. However, that was all more than breach of contract, not trade-key violations. The jury reported Huawei hadn’t maliciously or willfully misappropriated the knowledge it stole from T-Cellular, and no funds was awarded for the trade-magic formula claim.

A Huawei representative despatched the pursuing statement to Engadget this week:

The allegations in the Western District of Washington trade solution indictment were being already the matter of a civil suit that was settled by the get-togethers after a Seattle jury found neither damages nor willful and malicious conduct on the trade secret claim.

The Enterprise denies that it or its subsidiary or affiliate have dedicated any of the asserted violations of U.S. legislation established forth in every single of the indictments, is not informed of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng, and believes the U.S. courts will ultimately achieve the same summary.

%%item_study_a lot more_button%%