As if the case against Huawei couldn’t get any worse, it does: new allegations paint a picture of Huawei buying from US suppliers illegally under other subsidiary names in other countries as well as performing projects in sanctioned countries under internal codenames. Skycom (Iran), DirectPoint (Sudan), and Canicula (Syria) are examples of businesses purchasing American mobile components under names that, for the most part, were never identified publicly with Huawei.
Huawei partners with sanctioned countries for profit
And these subsidiaries are in countries where the US has sanctions. Similar to Huawei’s work in North Korea, where Huawei built and maintained the country’s wireless network, it has done projects in Sudan and Syria, both of which, like North Korea’s A9 code, have codes of their own: A5 (Sudan) and A7 (Syria), respectively. Once the work was complete, Huawei would then move the money made from those illegal projects through international banks such as HSBC, Standard Chartered, Citigroup, and BNP Paribas.
This week, Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Meng Wanzhou, revealed that Huawei has an office in the sanctioned country of Iran — a direct violation of US law. Huawei’s partnership with North Korea is also in direct violation of US law, seeing that North Korea is under sanctions due to its weapons program.
Huawei’s illegal phone smuggling plan
Huawei has come under even further scrutiny in recent days for its attempt at smuggling its smartphones into the US for sale, despite the Trump Ban and the President’s Executive Order issued in mid-May which prevents Huawei from buying and selling in the US. Huawei had planned to ship its smartphones to Mexico, where they’d be painted over, then shipped to the US for sale under another name(s).
46 Huawei subsidiaries added to the US Entity List
Trump had relaxed the Ban when it comes to buying products, allowing high-tech companies such as Micron, Intel, Qualcomm, and others to sell to Huawei in order to keep American profit high and prevent the loss of income and jobs. Recent work in the Trump Administration shows that the blacklist has grown to include an additional 46 Huawei subsidiaries, companies that Huawei used to buy mobile device components from US companies. Prior to Trump’s license for American companies to start selling to Huawei, companies such as Micron and Intel used legal loopholes overseas to continue selling components to Huawei.
A trail of deception
Huawei has appeared as an innocent victim to some in recent weeks, but the longer the Ban lasts, the more evidence against Shenzhen’s Pride is uncovered against the company. In recent days, it has been discovered that Huawei has also set up digital surveillance “safe cities,” some 700 to be exact, with African governments.
An exposé piece by the Wall Street Journal shows that Huawei has set up digital surveillance in the African governments of Uganda and Zambia, training Ugandan Police at the company’s Shenzhen headquarters, all while placing its Huawei logo on the wall at the same police headquarters in Uganda.
Huawei has established partnerships with Uganda and Zambia where it helps the governments track down political opponents and de-crypt their encrypted text messages on platforms such as WhatsApp and Skype, among others, in a matter of just two days.
Huawei has said on record that, if its Beijing Government told it to spy on US citizens or commit espionage on other countries, it would not do so for fear of losing its clientele, but Huawei has had no problems setting up espionage operations in African governments for financial gain. If Huawei would commit espionage for African government, surely it would do the same if Beijing issued such an order.
The evidence for Huawei continues to pile up, revealing more morally compromising situations in the name of profit than anything else. A company that will sell in the US but partner with US-sanctioned countries such as Syria and Iran will break the rules to make profit. A company that will try to sell their smartphones by illegally smuggling them into the US, or buy American components and products through subsidiaries will break the laws and go illegal to get what it wants.
It’s the illegal risk-taking that makes Huawei a target in the current US-China Trade War. There comes a time when one must stop believing the company’s words and start to examine and accept the growing evidence.