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What Huawei arrests in Poland means to the United States

T he Chinese company Huawei has had a phenomenal success and recently edged out Apple as the second largest producer of smartphones in the world (behind Samsung). The company, valued at $ 8.4 billion and generates nearly $ 86 billion in annual sales, operates in 170 countries and has many state partnerships.

It is also before review. CEO, Ran Zhengfei, founded the company after working as a senior technician for the People's Liberation Army. Western intelligence agencies have consistently issued warnings on security issues caused by the company's affiliation with the Chinese government and warned government officials to use their products. In 201

2, Congress went as far as issuing a report that marked the company a national security threat.

Later, CFO Meng Wangzhou, who is also the founder's daughter, was arrested in Canada for US allegations of violating international sanctions against Iran. On Friday, Polish arrested company sales manager in that country, as well as a Polish citizen and former intelligence officer, allow accusations of spying for Beijing.

If the claims against Huawei in Poland are playing out and European authorities successfully demonstrate that the company was involved in espionage, it should raise serious questions about current business relationships with other Chinese companies. In this regard, the details of claims are deeply disturbing. The arrested sales manager had tried to sell Huawei technology to the Polish government. He also seems to have been somewhat successful in building relationships with the government, as Huawei was named the government's official partner to accomplish the 5G strategy.

It would also mean that Huawei, a private company, was used by the Chinese government as part of a seemingly coordinated espionage effort. Currently, China's unfair business practices (especially theft and coercive technology transfer) are in focus. Chinese exports and corporate expansion with the explicit goal of spying and building Chinese state-owned networks in the country's infrastructure is much more worrying.

In addition to Poland, Canada and the United States, China is increasingly collaborating with developing countries that may not have the resources, leverage or allies to challenge Beijing in this way. And the Chinese infrastructure – like the 5G network in Poland – will be difficult for most countries to unwind or dismantle. In addition, the United States must work with its allies to help them better understand and counteract Chinese influence.

The good news is that the United States is already doing some of these things, including working with allies who already use Huawei technology and are considering assistance to countries developing telecommunications networks. The bad news is that these efforts are not close enough. Huawei products are popular and technology is already strongly integrated in other countries, including allies such as Germany and Japan.

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