Is China's Net Gear Firm Huawei A Security Threat?

In a few short years, the Chinese networking firm Huawei has risen to become of the world's largest powerhouses. But there are claims that the company has shady ties to China's notorious intelligence and military complex. So says a new...

January 10, 2006

1 Min Read
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In a few short years, the Chinese networking firm Huawei has risen to become of the world's largest powerhouses. But there are claims that the company has shady ties to China's notorious intelligence and military complex. So says a new report in Newsweek. Newsweek says, "There are persistent rumors that the firm is actually run by the People's Liberation Army." Huawei, of course, denies them.

The magazine also cites reports that "India's Intelligence Bureau suspects that Huawei has ties to China's intelligence apparatus and military, and even performs the debugging sweeps for the Chinese Embassy in India." The magazine says that British politicians have similar concerns about intelligence ties as well.

The article goes on to cite a variety of other problems with Huawei, ranging from charges of intellectual property theft (Cisco sued Huawei over this in 2003), to murky, insider financing deals with the Chinese government, to outright industrial espionage. The magazine reports, "Huawei came under fire in 2004 when an employee was caught taking photographs of circuit boards inside Fujitsu networking equipment afterhours at a Chicago trade show."

Much has been made of the remarkable growth of the Chinese economy. But if much of what this article reports is true, there's a dark side to it as well, one with potential security implications for the U.S.

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