Huawei, has the third largest market share of smartphones worldwide, after Samsung and Apple. But for all its success on the world stage, it has not done well in the United States.
But the world’s second-biggest manufacturer of smartphones has just 2.4 percent of the mobile market share in the United States, according to Stats Counter.
Where problems began
In October 2012, the U.S. House Intelligence Committee issued a report that Huawei and ZTE were not trustworthy enough to install phone and data networks and posed a threat to U.S. national security.
In the 2012 U.S. Intelligence Committee report summary stated, “The Committee finds that Huawei did not fully cooperate with the investigation and was unwilling to explain its relationship with the Chinese government or Chinese Communist Party, while credible evidence exists that it fails to comply with U.S. laws. Huawei also refused to describe the history, structure or management of itself or any of its subsidiaries. There was almost no information about the role the Chinese communist party has inside the company or formal channels with the regime’s government.”
The report also explained that when the committee interviewed current and former Huawei USA employees, they described a corporate culture that was completely different from the perception given to the committee by Huawei itself, those interviewed described it as the Huawei USA being managed almost completely by the parent company in China.
There was also evidence of more serious issues during the interviews and testimony of those current and former employees, according to the report: “The testimony and evidence of individuals who currently or formerly worked for Huawei in the United States or who have done business with Huawei also brought to light several very serious allegations of illegal behavior that require additional investigation. The Committee will refer these matters to the Executive Branch for potential investigation.”
There was also concern about the founder of Huawei, Ren Zhengfi, who was a director of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Information Engineering Academy, a group believed to be connected to the Chinese intelligence division.
All attempts to understand the company’s structure were met with resistance, information about its largest shareholders, who under their laws, forbids foreigners from holding shares in Chinese companies.
Most recent issues damaging Huawei’s credibility
Fast forward to the beginning of 2019 and several events occurred that negatively affected Huawei.
First, the CFO of Huawei and the daughter of its founder, Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada at the request of the United States on charges of bank fraud, and violating U.S. sanctions against Iran, as reported by Canada’s Globalnews.ca.
Currently, she is under house arrest, on conditions of electronic surveillance, and the relinquishing her passports, of which she had eight, one usually only issued to Chinese government employees related to public affairs.
And a few weeks later, in the New York Times, it was reported that a Huawei executive and a former Polish security official were arrested on spying allegations.
The Polish Internal Security Agency (ISA) did not immediately release information on the nature of the allegations against the men. The Chinese man later identified as Wang Weijing, also served as the Chinese attache to the Chinese general consul in Gdansk before working at Huawei, according to Reuters.
The Polish national, was a former (ISA) officer and was working for telecoms firm Orange Polska. After this event, several other European country’s began scrutinizing Huawei more closely, with some looking to outright ban Huawei in their county’s.
Poland’s President Andrzej Duda has also suggested that Huawei was likely to be shut out, Reuters said in a recent article.
“I’m definitely closer to cooperating with European firms or with those from the United States than with producers from Asia,” Duda said in an interview with Polish website money.pl.
President Donald Trump’s Executive Order and its implications
Finally a few weeks ago U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order effectively banning Huawei use on American networks citing national security concerns.
After the executive order was signed, an additional blow was dealt to the company, when Alphabet’s Google decided to comply with the ban. Google pulled its Android app, search and play Store licenses from Huawei, according to PCWorld.
The decision to ban Huawei did not come out of nowhere, it is not related to trade issues with the Chinese regime, but grounded in events spanning almost seven years of allegations, investigations, and information gathered by other nations.
Huawei is not the victim of retaliatory actions to pressure the Chinese regime to negotiate on matters of trade.
Huawei has never adequately, completely, or faithfully answered whether or not it is a Chinese regime agent, who its major shareholders are, or what is its official relationship to the Chinese Communist Party.
Until these and other questions are answered, (think, CFO violating US sanctions, or spying in Poland) as a nation we have a duty to protect ourselves from all enemies, and as time and technology change, the equipment for warfare also changes. And spying is no longer shady individuals infiltrating your country and embedding themselves in sensitive places, it is a tiny microchip that copies and sends your data to two places.
Its a cellphone that can have its microphone or speaker turned into a passive listening device, or the GPS used to log the comings and goings of certain high-ranking individuals and VIP’s.