A recent study into the CVs of the employees of the Chinese tech giant Huawei has apparently shown that there are deep ties between the company and the military and intelligence agencies of China – an extent to which had not been earlier accepted by the Chinese company.
The findings of the study showed that the “key mid-level technical personnel employed by Huawei have strong backgrounds in work closely associated with intelligence gathering and military activities.” It also found after the examination of the records of Huawei employees that some employees can also be linked “to specific instances of hacking or industrial espionage conducted against Western firms.”
The outcome of the study could also be a cause of additional concerns for those governments that are already worried about claims of Huawei being a threat to national security of countries. There are concerns among some countries about the telecom equipment made by the Chinese company could have back doors that can be used by Chinese agencies to spy on other countries using those equipment. All such allegations against it has been repeatedly denied by Huawei.
Those Huawei employees CVs that had been leaked online from unsecured databases and websites run by recruitment firms formed the basis of the study which was conducted by Christopher Balding, an associate professor at Fulbright University Vietnam, and London-based conservative think tank Henry Jackson Society.
The study pointed out to one CV that apparently showed an individual who shield two positions simultaneously – one at Huawei and the other that of a teacher at a military university, which is a recruitment place for the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA). According to the claims by Balding, that employee was linked to a part in the in the PLA that looks after operations of space, cyber, and electronic warfare capabilities of the Chinese military.
“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.
The report also describes another CV of another Huawei employee who also doubled up as a representative of a government entity which, the report claimed, is closely linked to espionage and counter intelligence of the Chinese army. According to the study, that individual “engaged in behavior that describes planting information capture technology or software on Huawei products.”
The “backdoor” had not been seen in any of the CVs examined, Balding said to a news channel through an e-mail. He however explained that there is a “wealth of other technical terminology that indicates a pattern of this general type of behavior is taking place.”
“I do not have evidence that the Chinese state has directly ordered a Huawei employee to commit acts of espionage or similar behavior. I say that only because I do not have audio tape of the the order or an email indicating such orders,” Balding said.
“However, I can say the CVs do talk of behavior such as information interception and we know of instances where a Huawei employee holds a dual position in the PLA Strategic Support Force which oversees the electronic warfare and similar non-traditional warfare units. So I cannot say it has been ordered, but the inference of positions and behavior they mention on their CVs appears to indicate they do engage in these acts.”
Responding to the study, Huawei said that CVs of the Huawei employees that Balding had cited could not be verified by it and hence “cannot confirm the veracity of all of the information published online.”
“Huawei maintains strict policies for hiring candidates with military or government backgrounds. During the hiring process, these candidates are required to provide documentation proving they have ended their relationships with the military or the government,” the company said in a statement to the media.
(Adapted from CNBC.com)