Employees of the Chinese company Huawei acknowledged working with cyberagencies backed by the Chinese army, according to a study published Friday, July 5, by the Henry Jackson Society, a London-based group of experts.
The research is based on an analysis of the résumés of thousands of employees that were leaked online, prompting further questions about the telecommunications company’s links to the Chinese regime.
The report notes that some Huawei employees have worked as agents within China’s State Security Ministry, on projects with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and in a military unit linked to a cyberattack on U.S. companies.
More than 100 of Huawei’s staff had connections with Chinese intelligence agencies and their “background indicated national security experience,” Christopher Balding, an associate professor at Fulbright University in Vietnam, said in the study.
The study comes just after President Donald Trump announced—after a June 29 G-20 meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping—a relief from U.S. government restrictions on the company.
“There is significant direct evidence that Huawei’s personnel acted in the direction of Chinese state intelligence with multiple overlapping relationship ties across the Chinese state,” the study evidenced, according to Daily Caller.
Balding examined a database of 2 million Curriculum Vitae (CVs)—filtered from unsafe online platforms—of which approximately 25,000 were Huawei employees.
According to the research, a software engineer, whose work at Huawei seems to give him “enormous control over access to user and provider data,” is simultaneously employed as a professor and researcher by China’s National Defense Technology University, a leading institution led by the Chinese army, officially known as the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
It hypothesizes that the employee’s tasks are within the PLA branch that oversees “Chinese military, cybernetic, and Chinese electronic warfare capabilities.
In another case, the investigation found a Huawei employee who described himself in his résumé as a “representative” of the State Security Ministry, China’s main intelligence agency. Among the responsibilities listed in his CV was “developing a legal interception capability in Huawei’s equipment,” suggesting that his role in the company included “planting information capture technology or software on Huawei products,” according to the study.
The report also found the case of an employee who previously worked at the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASTC), a state-owned company that develops space technology and missiles. That Huawei employee worked on the development of communications systems for the PLA when he worked at CASTC.
According to The Telegraph, another Huawei engineer, who participated in the development of 5G base stations, wrote in his CV that he was not allowed to say anything about his previous employment “due to the involvement of military secrets.”
The study concluded, ” Chinese state and intelligence gathering assets are placed in Huawei within a systemic organization designed to facilitate information flows.”
Recently Steve Bannon, former adviser to President Trump, told CNBC that Huawei is part of the Chinese army and that “it is a ‘dirty bomb’ in industrialized democracies,” although he thinks that more and more people are waking up to this reality.