HUAWEI IS UNDER FIRE yet again after documents emerged suggesting that the embattled Chinese firm has been working on the construction and maintenance of a mobile network for North Korea.
New data obtained by the Washington Post suggests that one of the company's joint venture divisions, Panda International Information Technology Ltd, has worked on various telecoms projects inside the secretive state for eight years, including the creation of the country's 3G wireless network.
Although technically, what Huawei has done isn't illegal under UN sanctions, it is generally frowned upon to deal with North Korea in any context and further questions are now likely to be raised about how secure an alliance with Huawei can be.
It's particularly relevant because Huawei's chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou has allegations of work with Iran on her current charge sheet. Huawei denies any involvement in contracts with Iran, but the accusations relate to (surprise surprise) a subsidiary.
Huawei has neither confirmed nor denied the veracity of the documents, which are said to have been passed to the Washington Post by a former employee who believes them to be in the public interest.
"Huawei is fully committed to comply with all applicable laws and regulations in the countries and regions where we operate, including all export control and sanction laws and regulations of the United Nations, United States and European Union," Huawei said in a statement.
Given that "building a mobile network" isn't specified in any sanctions, that doesn't really tell us anything.
The news comes as the UK government announces it is to delay a decision on Huawei's involvement in 5G networks. It's not thought that one decision influenced the other.
Huawei's consumer division looks set to receive a boost in the coming days, as The White House is expected to begin granting licences to companies that wish to rekindle their arrangements with Huawei, ending months of doubt about the future of the Western business. µ
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