Cutting corners on telecom infrastructure with Huawei

In January 2013, I wrote a blog post about Huawei’s twisty, winding path to prominence. There were plenty of oddities, e.g. Huawei was supplier to the Taliban and nearly acquired by GOP presidential Mitt Romney… but not a the same time!

Huawei is back in the limelight. Curiously, the problem is not one of Chinese state interference but of sloppy software development. I’ll get to that, but first, let’s take an illustrated tour of the Huawei story.

A casual Huawei timeline

2001 – Huawei India faces allegations that it had developed telecommunications equipment used by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Huawei greeters at ITU World Telecom 2007 but probably not for the Taliban

2010 – Reuters reports that a major Iranian partner of Huawei tried to sell embargoed Hewlett-Packard computer equipment to Iran‘s largest mobile-phone operator.

Huawei at mobile device trade show convention in Iran

2011 – The Australian government excludes Huawei from tendering contracts with a government-owned corporation constructing a broadband network.

2012 – The Canadian government excludes Huawei from plans to build a secure government communications network.

Huawei phone Pegasus, Barcelona 2012

2013 – The U.S.- China Economic & Security Review Commission advised Congress about Chinese government influence on Huawei.

2013 – Reuters investigative report following receipt of a letter from a concerned Los Alamos National Labs (LANL) employee:

[LANL] had installed devices made by H3C Technologies Co [which] raises questions about procurement practices by U.S. departments responsible for national security.

The devices were Chinese-made switches used for managing data traffic on LANL computer networks. Huawei’s relationship with Chinese military was mentioned.

(more…)

Published in: on October 23, 2019 at 5:48 am  Comments (2)  
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