New Zealand government issued warning over dealing with Huawei after US spying claims

American prosecutors have claimed two Chinese spies tried to bribe a US government official to give them details about a criminal case against Huawei.

The company's New Zealand arm has rubbished the allegations but an international relations expert is warning our government to be careful in dealings with the telecommunications giant.

The two Chinese agents thought they'd found their inside man in America - but they were wrong.

"In fact, the individual they recruited was actually a double agent working on behalf of the FBI," US Attorney-General Merrick Garland said.

It was all part of an alleged plot to interfere with the US government's proceedings against the Chinese tech giant Huawei.

"The Justice Department will not tolerate attempts by any foreign power to undermine the rule of law upon which our democracy is based," Garland said.

Huawei was indicted in 2018 for allegedly misleading banks about its business in Iran. 

Among Tuesday's allegations are the two agents tried to obtain confidential information concerning witnesses and trial evidence.

"The cases unsealed today take place against a backdrop of malign activity from the People's Republic of China, that includes espionage, harassment, obstruction of our justice system," US Deputy Attorney-General Lisa Monaco said.

In New Zealand, Huawei New Zealand told Newshub it wouldn't comment on what it calls "unsubstantiated allegations" in the US.

The company told Newshub it complies with all applicable laws and regulations in New Zealand and abroad.

Victoria University expert Dr Jason Young said telecommunications has become an "incredibly sensitive" area with an apparent uptick in espionage around tech issues cause for concern for our government.

"In the Chinese case it's an added layer of complexity in the sense that their political system is just so different to say the New Zealand political system," Dr Young said.

It makes it even more difficult to track things like ownership which is a necessary task for those protecting our national security.