Huawei: US Launched Cyberattacks to Disrupt Business

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Huawei released a statement on Tuesday claiming the U.S. government "has been using every tool at its disposal – including both judicial and administrative powers, as well as a host of other unscrupulous means – to disrupt the normal business operations of Huawei and its partners." The company said the U.S. "has been leveraging its political and diplomatic influence to lobby other governments to ban Huawei equipment."

Some of those claims seem obvious: the U.S. blacklisted Huawei in May and has repeatedly flip-flopped on how exactly it planned to treat the company moving forward.

But today's statement included allegations that the U.S. also launched cyberattacks against Huawei, attempted to entrap Huawei employees and otherwise targeted the company using a variety of questionable tactics.

Here's the full list of allegations from Huawei's statement:

  • Instructing law enforcement to threaten, menace, coerce, entice and incite both current and former Huawei employees to turn against the company and work for them
  • Unlawfully searching, detaining and even arresting Huawei employees and Huawei partners
  • Attempting entrapment, or pretending to be Huawei employees to establish legal pretense for unfounded accusations against the company
  • Launching cyberattacks to infiltrate Huawei's intranet and internal information systems
  • Sending FBI agents to the homes of Huawei employees and pressuring them to collect information on the company
  • Mobilizing and conspiring with companies that work with Huawei, or have a business conflict with Huawei, to bring unsubstantiated accusations against the company
  • Launching investigations based on false media reports that target the company
  • Digging up old civil cases that have already been settled and selectively launching criminal investigations or filing criminal charges against Huawei based on claims of technology theft
  • Obstructing normal business activities and technical communications through intimidation, denying visas, detaining shipment, etc.

Huawei didn't offer any evidence to back up its claims; nor did it say when it might share more information about the allegations. It's possible the company planned to gauge the U.S. government's reaction to this statement before moving forward with any kind of legal case. Although, it's already sued the U.S. government over barring federal agencies from buying its equipment, so it's not clear if these allegations will be addressed in that case.

The company's statement was also somewhat odd. Huawei said it was releasing the statement in response to a Wall Street Journal report about the U.S. Department of Justice investigating a claim that Huawei infringed on patents related to smartphone cameras. That's where the statement's focus started, but then it abruptly jumped to these allegations before finally closing with its commitment to doing its own research and development.

Nathaniel Mott
Freelance News & Features Writer

Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.

  • Arbie
    For better or worse, I doubt that the US government agencies allegedly involved have the skills to pull off an orchestrated attack of this or any similar kind. And if they did - as with most conspiracies mooted - it certainly could not be kept secret.