Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. is a multinational technology corporation headquartered in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China. Huawei designs telecommunications equipment, develops consumer electronics, and sells various smart devices. Meng Wanzhou, the company’s founder and CEO, has come under fire in recent weeks for her company’s ties to the Chinese Communist Party. Huawei is not a private company, but rather a subsidiary of Huawei, a state-owned enterprise.
Meng Wanzhou is the daughter of the founder of Huawei
Meng Wanzhou is the daughter of Ren Zhengfei, the Chinese entrepreneur who founded Huawei Technologies Co. in 1987. Huawei is one of the world’s biggest makers of telecommunications equipment, and Meng Wanzhou will continue to lead the company as its chief financial officer. Before joining Huawei, Meng served in the Chinese army for nine years before becoming a member of the Chinese Communist Party.
The company has ties to the Chinese Communist Party
The founder of Huawei, Ren Zhengfei, is a controversial figure. His daughter holds leadership roles at the company, and both her parents are members of the Communist Party of China. Huawei is controlled by a faction within the CPC that includes former leader Jiang Zemin and former ShanghaiTech University president Jiang Mianheng. These individuals have ties to numerous technology companies and are thought to be the company’s primary security advisers.
It is the world’s second-largest smartphone maker
While Apple has long dominated the smartphone market, Huawei recently overtook the iPhone to claim the second spot. While the Chinese company has had its fair share of controversy this year, Huawei has remained strong and is on track to become the world’s second-largest smartphone maker by the end of 2017. According to Counterpoint Research, Huawei has made significant progress in the mobile phone industry and has enjoyed a successful run in China.
It is banned from building 5G networks in some countries
Germany is not one of the countries to ban Huawei from building 5G networks. But it is under pressure from its western allies to do so. In April this year, the German government passed an information security law, tightening infrastructure and governance reporting requirements. The interior minister stated that critical components of 5G networks can be denied to Huawei if it is not trustworthy. In addition, the UK has banned Huawei from building 5G networks in some countries. Regardless of the legal situation, a few other countries have been taking the same route.
It is criticized for espionage
The Chinese company has long been criticized for espionage, but the US government has not published any smoking-gun evidence of its espionage activities. Instead, the US government has spread a narrative that Huawei is a puppet of the Chinese government. In May, the government placed Huawei on a trade blacklist as a potential national security threat, and lobbied its international allies to ban Huawei’s 5G network equipment. In an interview with CNBC, Huawei told the outlet that the company would not hand over customer data to the Chinese government.
It has received government subsidies
There has been a flurry of allegations that Huawei has received subsidies from the Chinese government. Although the amount of subsidies Huawei has received is not quantifiable, they have been a significant source of income for the company. Since 2008, Huawei has received official grants totalling $1.6 billion, about 17 times more than the combined total of Nokia’s and Ericsson’s grants in the past five years. In addition, Huawei has received subsidies for research and development.
It has been included in Interbrand’s “Top Brands of the World”
In 2014, Huawei became the first Chinese company to be recognized as a Top Brand, a designation given to companies that have established their brands globally. The list honors the largest companies and most prominent brands in a variety of industries, and Huawei is no exception. The company’s logo evokes the Chinese word “Hua” for “China” and “Wu” for the action and achievement it represents.