Huawei staff and Chinese military have deep links, study claims

In this photo illustration, the Huawei logo and Chinese flag is seen displayed on an Android mobile phone.

Omar Marques | LightRocket | Getty Images

A new analysis of CVs of Huawei staff appeared to reveal deeper links between the technology giant and China’s military and intelligence bodies than had been previously acknowledged by the firm.

The paper, which looks at employment records of Huawei employees, concluded that “key mid-level technical personnel employed by Huawei have strong backgrounds in work closely associated with intelligence gathering and military activities.” Some employees can be linked “to specific instances of hacking or industrial espionage conducted against Western firms,” it claimed.

The study may heighten concerns among governments who are analyzing claims that Huawei poses a national security risk. Some countries are worried that Huawei could install so-called backdoors in its telecommunications networking equipment that would allow the Chinese government to access user data. Huawei has repeatedly denied it would ever engage in such activity.

The study, conducted by Christopher Balding, an associate professor at Fulbright University Vietnam, and London-based think tank Henry Jackson Society, looked through CVs of Huawei employees that were leaked online from unsecured databases and websites run by recruitment firms.

One CV appeared to show a person who simultaneously held a position at Huawei and a teaching and research role at a military university through which they were employed by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. Balding linked that employee to a section in the PLA that is responsible for the Chinese military’s space, cyber, and electronic warfare capabilities.

“The circumstantial evidence appears quite strong to support valid concerns about the relationship between Huawei, the PLA, and concerns about intelligence gathering,” Balding said in the paper.

Another CV describes an individual who worked at Huawei but was a representative…

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