Huawei may have quite a bit of explaining to do, after The Washington Post recently published a report that the Chinese firm helped in the development of South Korea’s infamous Koryolink network, which is said to be able to assist the government there to spy on its citizens, as well as block access to mobile services for visitors to the country.
The report comes following the leak of confidential documents which explain that Huawei secretly partnered with Chinese state-owned firm Panda International Information Technology, with the pair working on several projects in North Korea over the past eight years, including the aforementioned Koryolink network.
With Huawei coming under fire from the United States government of late regarding the potential for spying technology to be embedded into its mobile hardware, and 5G devices in particular, this latest report now appears to confirm some of the fears that many in the States had.
As for the firm’s dealings in North Korea, Huawei is said to have assisted in key components such as cellular infrastructure, network management and encryption.
In response Huawei has told The Washington Post that it has “no business presence” in North Korea, with the highly reputed publication noting that the firm’s representatives were very much speaking in the past tense. As such the unnamed spokesperson would not say whether Huawei had previous dealings in the country.
What makes things worse is that experts who spoke with The Washington Post believe that the some of the same kinds of components used in North Korea’s Koryolink network could have also been used in 3G networks Stateside.
At this stage the US Commerce Department has declined to comment on the report, but this no doubt places trade dealings between companies in the United States and Huawei at jeopardy once again. Whether this latest report was discussed during a recent meeting between Huawei and US companies remains to be seen, but either way it raises the spectre of doubt once again for the Chinese firm.
With the company aiming to get its smartphone and 5G business rolling once again, this latest bit of evidence throws a massive spanner in the works, with this saga quite far from over it seems.
Head to The Washington Post to read its full report, as well as the leaked documents in question.
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