Beijing [China], July 31 (ANI): China’s telecommunication titan Huawei Technologies has seen the toughest times in its international business in the last few years after the company’s alleged involvement with the Chinese government sparked protests in many countries due to security threats.
Huawei’s controversial involvement with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and security agencies sparked protests, especially in those countries which are either capable of independently upgrading their telecommunication infrastructure, or are close allies of the former, the European Times reported.
Canada has become the latest country to designate Huawei as a national security concern. Ottawa has accused the company of installing backdoors in its products and services that provide the company unauthorised access to its user data.
It is pertinent to mention here that in 2018, Canadian authorities arrested Huawei’s high-profile top executive, Meng Wanzhou who was accused of allegedly misleading banks about the company’s business dealings in Iran flouting the US sanctions.
The United States spearheaded the debate on security threats relating to Huawei’s alleged involvement with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in 2019, the European Times reported.
It was one of the first countries to ban Huawei’s 5G trials in the US telecommunications equipment handling and telecom business.
The US has alleged that the Chinese tech giant is actively involved in stealing American intellectual property and technology specifications.
The US Department of Justice (DoJ), in 2019 alleged that Huawei was stealing trade secrets from Bellevue, the Washington-based T-Mobile company.
In the same case, the DoJ released a list of crimes against the company’s officials including money laundering, conspiracy, wire fraud, obstruction of justice, etc.
Consequently, in May 2019, the US banned its companies from using telecom equipment manufactured by Huawei. It also added Huawei to the blacklist of companies that were restricted from doing business with American businesses, the European Times reported.
Australia, in 2018 became one of the first to put a complete ban on Huawei’s 5G equipment rollout along with its engagements with ZTE, another Chinese telecom giant, immediately followed by Japan in 2018 when it also banned both Huawei and ZTE from its domestic telecom equipment manufacturing industry.
In 2020, India followed suit by deciding to keep Huawei and ZTE out of its 5G rollout. Prior to it in 2018, the UK government also banned Huawei from rolling out its 5G equipment. In addition, it ruled out that Huawei equipment within the 4G infrastructure shall also be pulled out of the country by 2020.
Out of the group of the ‘Five Eyes’ alliance, New Zealand 2018 itself, had banned Huawei from the country’s first 5G network, following the move of Australia.
In South East Asia, in 2019 Malaysia announced that its security standards will dictate the engagement of Huawei with its domestic companies from time to time, signifying concerns with Huawei’s equipment., the European Times reported.
In the Middle East too, countries which are using Huawei equipment are under the US radar, and Washington has repeatedly flagged its concerns with its Gulf allies over security risks associated with the company.
With Huawei’s predominance in developing and facilitating 5G networks, China stands to gain access to any and all information it wishes to acquire from any network or nation of its choosing. Huawei has a long history of providing flimsy security for its consumer nations, with a common theme of security breaches, data funnelling to unauthorized locations and backdoor entries into software and equipment.
The tech giant has faced a fair amount of heat over incidents involving information breaches, data leaks, compromised software, backdoor entries, and the funnelling of data to unknown locations. Due to this, not just the governments, but other companies too are rethinking their ties with Huawei due to concerns over data piracy and cyber security.
Apple has alleged that Huawei stole its trade secrets for business purposes. Cisco has repeatedly cited its 2003 case when it accused Huawei of stealing its source code to build Huawei’s network routers, the European Times reported.
In 2019, Nokia also decided to replace Huawei from its core infrastructure and partnered with other companies like Intel and Marvel technologies.
In January 2019, a non-corporate entity, the University of Oxford, announced that it will not accept any donations or research grants for research projects from Huawei at the University.
The European market is the largest market for Huawei’s telecom and mobile phone sales but the company’s challenges in the market are mounting as, after the debate on national security concerns, several countries have conducted deeper scrutiny and halted the company’s business in the European 5G market, the European Times reported.
Private telecom companies in the European countries are opting for other companies to help build their 5G network instead of Huawei. France and Germany have clarified that their telecom operators will not be able to renew their licenses with Huawei after their expiry in 2028.
Since 2018, China’s Big-tech companies, mainly Huawei, have faced the heat of the US-China tech war. While other companies in China have received a setback from their own government in recent years, Huawei continues to enjoy China’s state patronage owing to its strategic advantages and associations with China’s Belt and Road initiative.
The extent to which the US concerns over Huawei have affected China’s technology expansion plans is not yet known but it is safe to say that it has surely affected the business of the company’s international business and its global standing. (ANI)
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