Report: Huawei Workers Collaborated With Chinese Military

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Huawei will now have even more trouble denying its connections to China's military. Bloomberg reported Wednesday that several of the company's workers have collaborated on research projects with "members of various organs of" the People's Liberation Army (PLA). Those employees were said to be working in unofficial capacities, but this is just another mark against Huawei's claims of total independence.

The possibility that Huawei works closely with China's military, intelligence agencies and other government organizations has led to scrutiny from countries around the world. Regulators in many countries have banned (or are thinking about banning) the company's networking equipment from 5G networks because they fear the Chinese government would use those networks to conduct mass surveillance.

Those fears led the U.S. government to bar federal agencies from purchasing Huawei equipment via the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2019. The U.S. Department of Commerce also cited national security concerns when it added Huawei to the Entity List in May, although ongoing tensions between the U.S. and China have made it seem like there were other motivations behind the ban as well.

Huawei's denied these accusations, saying "Huawei is not aware of its employees publishing research papers in their individual capacity" and that it doesn't have a relationship with the PLA. But that was cast in doubt because the study's authors "identified themselves as Huawei employees," and "the company name was prominently listed at the top of the papers," according to Bloomberg.

Bloomberg said the Huawei researchers and the PLA worked on "at least 10 research endeavors spanning artificial intelligence to radio communications." The report was careful to note that its findings don't indicate a direct relationship between Huawei and the Chinese military. They do make it clear that Huawei does have ties with the PLA, though, which could raise suspicions based on other reports.

That's not a good look for a company that's currently trying to maintain its relationship with U.S. suppliers despite being blacklisted by their federal government. Combine that with the CIA reportedly finding connections between Huawei and Chinese intelligence agencies, and it seems like Huawei's attempts to fight the various U.S. bans in court probably may not go the way the company hopes. 

14 comments
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  • King_V
    Well, this is certainly going to make it awkward/uncomfortable for those companies who are still selling because they found a loophole in the rules, as noted in this article from yesterday.
  • sosofm
    Why they don't ban everybody , when you install a crap app from playstore ,need permision to your contacts, media , location and almost all your phone , its normal ? NO !!! Google is the biggest spy on Earth , Microsoft and all the big software companies , why this is such a big thing ???? Im not chinese and i use a phone made by Huawei , Honor 10 and i don't care about what NSA,FBI ,CIA and other crapy american agency ( who spy everybody) are saying.
  • King_V
    Quote:
    Why they don't ban everybody , when you install a crap app from playstore ,need permision to your contacts, media , location and almost all your phone , its normal ? NO !!! Google is the biggest spy on Earth , Microsoft and all the big software companies , why this is such a big thing ???? Im not chinese and i use a phone made by Huawei , Honor 10 and i don't care about what NSA,FBI ,CIA and other crapy american agency ( who spy everybody) are saying.


    So, are you basically saying that the US government and US corporations doing all the spying, and you think that the US government agencies are lying about Huawei, and that this new report is also a lie?

    Where's your evidence of this?

    You appear to be randomly conflating app permissions, and corporate data mining, with government spying and government-sponsored backdoors in hardware and software, as if they are all one and the same.