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Huawei

Huawei

Industry: 
Telecommunications
States: 
TX
Country: 
China
Contact Information: 
Sources: 

"A major Iranian partner of Huawei Technologies offered to sell at least 1.3 million euros worth of embargoed Hewlett-Packard computer equipment to Iran's largest mobile-phone operator in late 2010, documents show. China's Huawei, the world's second largest telecommunications equipment maker, says neither it nor its partner, a private company registered in Hong Kong, ultimately provided the HP products to the telecom, Mobile Telecommunication Co of Iran, known as MCI...The proposed deal also raises new questions about Shenzhen-based Huawei, which recently was criticized by the U.S. House Intelligence Committee for failing to 'provide evidence to support its claims that it complies with all international sanctions or U.S. export laws.' At least 13 pages of the proposal to MCI, which involved expanding its subscriber billing system, were marked "Huawei confidential' and carried the company's logo, according to documents seen by Reuters. In a statement to Reuters, Huawei called it a 'bidding document' and said one of its 'major local partners,' Skycom Tech Co Ltd, had submitted it to MCI. The statement went on to say, 'Huawei's business in Iran is in full compliance with all applicable laws and regulations including those of the U.N., U.S. and E.U. This commitment has been carried out and followed strictly by our company. Further, we also require our partners to follow the same commitment and strictly abide by the relevant laws and regulations.' In October, Reuters reported that another Iranian partner of Huawei last year tried to sell embargoed American antenna equipment to Iran's second largest mobile operator, MTN Irancell, in a deal the buyer ultimately rejected. The U.S. antenna manufacturer, CommScope Inc, has an agreement with Huawei in which the Chinese firm can use its products in Huawei systems, according to a CommScope spokesman... Huawei has a similar partnership with HP... Huawei and its Iranian partner, Skycom, appear to have very close ties. An Iranian job recruitment site called Irantalent.com describes Skycom as 'a leading telecom solution provider' and goes on to list details that are identical to the way Huawei describes itself on its U.S. website: employee-owned, selling 'solutions' used by '45 of the world's top 50 telecom operators' and serving 'one-third of the world's population.' On LinkedIn.com, several telecom workers list having worked at 'Huawei-skycom' on their resumes... And an Iranian telecom manager who has visited Skycom's office in Tehran said, 'Everybody carries Huawei badges.'... 'In order to keep serving (MCI) with high quality, we provide this expansion proposal to support 40M subscribers,' the proposal states on a page marked 'HUAWEI Confidential.'... The documents seen by Reuters also include a portion of an equipment price list that carries Huawei's logo and are stamped 'SKYCOM IRAN OFFICE.'...  Asked who had provided the existing HP equipment to MCI, Vic Guyang, a Huawei spokesman, said it wasn't Huawei. 'We would like to add that the existing hardware equipment belongs to the customer. Huawei does not have information on, or the authority to check the source of the customer's equipment.'" (Reuters, "Exclusive: Huawei partner offered embargoed HP gear to Iran," 12/30/2012)

 

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"Documents seen by Reuters show that a partner of China's Huawei Technologies Co Ltd offered to sell a Huawei-developed "Lawful Interception Solution" to MobinNet, Iran's first nationwide wireless broadband provider, just as MobinNet was preparing to launch in 2010. The system's capabilities included 'supporting the special requirements from security agencies to monitor in real time the communication traffic between subscribers,' according to a proposal by Huawei's Chinese partner seen by Reuters. Huawei also gave MobinNet a PowerPoint marketing presentation on a system that features 'deep packet inspection' - a powerful and potentially intrusive technology that can read and analyze 'packets' of data that travel across the Internet... Huawei says it has never sold either system to MobinNet and doesn't sell DPI equipment in Iran. But a person familiar with the matter says MobinNet did obtain a Huawei DPI system before it began operating in 2010. The person does not know how MobinNet acquired it or if it is being used. Asked to comment, Vic Guyang, a Huawei spokesman, said in a statement, 'We think it's not for us to confirm or deny what systems other companies have.'... In the case of Huawei, the documents seen by Reuters challenge statements made by the company that it doesn't sell any internet monitoring or filtering equipment... But the documents' descriptions of the Huawei systems pitched to MobinNet emphasize their filtering capabilities and ability to enable monitoring by security agencies. For example, a proposal made to MobinNet dated April 2009 offers what it calls a Huawei 'lawful interception' solution. The proposal was prepared by China's CMEC International Trading Co which states in the document that it had selected Huawei as its bid partner... Although Huawei maintains it doesn't sell any filtering technologies, its presentation given to MobinNet, marked confidential, repeatedly says its 'DPI Solution' features 'URL filtering,' which can be used to block specific websites... For example, the presentation states that a Chinese telecoms firm was using the Huawei system 'to settle the problem of youth getting secure and healthy access to websites, and the traffic should be controllable.'... In a series of emailed statements, Guyang, the Huawei spokesman, did not address Huawei's claim that it doesn't 'provide any services related to monitoring of filtering.'... He said Huawei 'did not sell products containing this function in Iran.' He also said the Huawei system described in the proposal - the Quidway SIG9800 - can't access 'content' in the telecommunications network. But a former Huawei employee who has worked in Iran said the SIG9800 can be used to reconstruct email messages provided they are not encrypted. 'This product has some special usage which Huawei customers do not like to share ... especially in Iran,' this person said... The proposal to MobinNet for the Huawei lawful-intercept system states that it includes technology from a German company called Utimaco Safeware AG. Utimaco says Huawei is one of its worldwide resellers but that neither MobinNet directly - nor Huawei on behalf of MobinNet - purchased or licensed its products. The proposal also states that Huawei equipment at another Iranian telecom had 'already successfully integrated with' an Utimaco product 'and accumulated rich integration experience, which will be shared.'" (Reuters, "Special Report: How foreign firms tried to sell spy gear to Iran," 12/4/2012)   

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"A spokesman for Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, the Chinese telecom supplier, did not confirm or deny that his company is involved. In a statement, he said Huawei is 'limiting our business activities with existing (Iranian) customers.' But he added: 'For communications networks that have been delivered or are under delivery to customers, Huawei will continue to provide necessary services to ensure communications for Iran's citizens.'" (Reuters, "Ericsson helps Iran telecoms, letter reveals long-term deal," 11/20/2012)

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"Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, at a press conference to release the report, said companies that had used Huawei equipment had reported 'numerous allegations' of unexpected behavior, including routers supposedly sending large data packs to China late at night... If the committee's warnings about doing business with Huawei and ZTE prompt the Chinese government to get out of the business of cyber espionage, a growing U.S. concern, 'then that's great,' he added... Rogers, responding to a question at the press conference, stopped short of urging a U.S. boycott of mobile phones and other handheld devices made by Huawei and ZTE. The panel's warning pertains only to devices that involve processing of data on a large scale, he said, not Huawei- and ZTE-made mobile phones. Employee-owned Huawei is the world's second-biggest maker of routers, switches and other telecommunications equipment after Sweden's Ericsson. The panel said it had received credible allegations suggesting Huawei may be guilty of bribery and corruption, discriminatory behavior and copyright infringement... The committee's warning comes as Huawei weighs a possible initial public offering, sources said, as part of an effort to overcome suspicions that have all but blocked its U.S. efforts, including business tie-ins.Huawei denounced the findings, which it said 'employs many rumors and speculations to prove non-existent accusations.' 'We have to suspect that the only purpose of such a report is to impede competition and obstruct Chinese (telecom) companies from entering the U.S. market,' Huawei said... Huawei's U.S. sales totaled $1.3 billion last year, a small fraction of its worldwide sales of $32.4 billion. Handheld devices accounted for about three-fourths of Huawei sales in the United States last year, including via T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint... Huawei and ZTE, which are both based in Shenzhen, China, are rapidly becoming 'dominant global players' in the telecommunications market, the report said... The committee's report criticized Huawei and ZTE for failing to answer questions or provide documentation regarding their business activities in Iran. In the case of ZTE, the report said the company 'consistently declined to comment on recent media reports that ZTE had sold export-controlled items to Iran.'... Huawei and ZTE may not be the only companies that present a risk to U.S. infrastructure, the committee's report said, but they are the two largest Chinese-founded, Chinese-owned companies seeking to market critical network equipment in the United States... The report underscores how little return Huawei in particular has gotten from its significant investment in lobbying in Washington after suffering a number of high-profile setbacks... In 2008, Huawei and private equity firm Bain Capital were forced to give up their bid for 3Com Corp after a U.S. panel rejected the deal because of national security concerns. Then in 2011, the company was forced to relinquish plans to buy some assets from U.S. server technology firm 3Leaf after the Committee on Foreign Investment mandated that Huawei divest certain parts of the deal." (Reuters, "U.S. lawmakers seek to block China Huawei, ZTE U.S. inroads," 10/8/2012)

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"The U.S. House of Representatives' Intelligence Committee said in a draft of a report to be released Monday that ZTE and fellow Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd should be shut out of the U.S. market because potential Chinese state influence on them poses a security threat. Both companies deny the allegation... The partnership expanded about five years ago when Cisco began viewing ZTE as a means to combat Huawei, the world's second-biggest maker of telecoms equipment by revenue after Sweden's Ericsson. Huawei had been beating out Cisco in emerging markets by offering significantly cheaper products... Part of Cisco's strategy, the former Cisco executive said, was 'we would license technology to ZTE and they would produce equipment locally, and we could therefore have a range of equipment in the marketplace that would be cost-competitive with Huawei.'" (Reuters, "Exclusive: Cisco cuts ties to China's ZTE after Iran probe," 10/8/2012)

          

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"Huawei Technologies Co. confirmed it sold telecom equipment and a 'mobile news delivery platform' to MTN Irancell Telecommunications Services Co., Iran's second- largest mobile provider, while denying the gear is used for censorship... Huawei, China's largest maker of phone network equipment, doesn’t provide 'any services relating to monitoring or filtering technologies and equipment anywhere in the world,' the Shenzhen, China-based company said in a e-mailed statement today... The company said it issued the statement on Iran in response to 'inaccurate and misleading claims' about its 'commercial activities' in Iran, without identifying the source of those claims. Both Bloomberg News and the Wall Street Journal published reports last month saying Iranian authorities use technology purchased from foreign companies to monitor dissidents... 'Huawei provides a mobile news delivery platform to MTN Irancell, but we have no involvement in any aspect of the content of the information that is provided on that platform,' the Huawei statement said. 'Most importantly, we have absolutely no technology that can be used for news censorship.'... Ross Gan, a spokesman for Huawei, had earlier told Bloomberg News that any equipment the company provides to customers is strictly for commercial use only." (Bloomberg, "Huawei Confirms MTN Irancell Sales, Denies Gear is Used for Censorship,"11/7/2011)

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“When Western companies pulled back from Iran after the government's bloody crackdown on its citizens two years ago, a Chinese telecom giant filled the vacuum. Huawei Technologies Co. now dominates Iran's government-controlled mobile-phone industry. In doing so, it plays a role in enabling Iran's state security network. Huawei recently signed a contract to install equipment for a system at Iran's largest mobile-phone operator that allows police to track people based on the locations of their cellphones, according to interviews with telecom employees both in Iran and abroad, and corporate bidding documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. It also has provided support for similar services at Iran's second-largest mobile-phone provider. Huawei notes that nearly all countries require police access to cell networks, including the U.S. Huawei's role in Iran demonstrates the ease with which countries can obtain foreign technology that can be used to stifle dissent through censorship or surveillance. Many of the technologies Huawei supports in Iran—such as location services—are available on Western networks as well. The difference is that, in the hands of repressive regimes, it can be a critical tool in helping to quash dissent… This year Huawei made a pitch to Iranian government officials to sell equipment for a mobile news service on Iran's second-largest mobile-phone operator, MTN Irancell. According to a person who attended the meeting, Huawei representatives emphasized that, being from China, they had expertise censoring the news. The company won the contract and the operator rolled out the service, according to this person. MTN Irancell made no reference to censorship in its announcement about its ‘mobile newspaper’ service. But Iran routinely censors the Internet using sophisticated filtering technology. The Journal reported in June that Iran was planning to create its own domestic Internet to combat Western ideas, culture and influence. In winning Iranian contracts, Huawei has sometimes partnered with Zaeim Electronic Industries Co., an Iranian electronics firm whose website says its clients include the intelligence and defense ministries, as well as the country's elite special-forces unit, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. This month the U.S. accused a branch of the Revolutionary Guards of plotting to kill Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the U.S. Iran denies the claim. Huawei's chief spokesman, Ross Gan, said, ‘It is our corporate commitment to comply strictly with all U.N. economic sanctions, Chinese regulations and applicable national regulations on export control. We believe our business operations in Iran fully meet all of these relevant regulations.’ William Plummer, Huawei's vice president of external affairs in Washington, said the company's location-based-service offerings comply with ‘global specifications’ that require lawful-interception capabilities. ‘What we're doing in Iran is the same as what we're doing in any market,’ he said. ‘Our goal is to enrich people's lives through communications.’ Huawei has about 1,000 employees in Iran, according to people familiar with its Iran operations. In an interview in China, a Huawei executive played down the company's activities in Iran's mobile-phone industry, saying its technicians only service Huawei equipment, primarily routers. But a person familiar with Huawei's Mideast operations says the company's role is considerably greater, and includes a contract for ‘managed services’—overseeing parts of the network—at MTN Irancell, which is majority owned by the government. During 2009's demonstrations, this person said, Huawei carried out government orders on behalf of its client, MTN Irancell, that MTN and other carriers had received to suspend text messaging and block the Internet phone service, Skype, which is popular among dissidents. Huawei's Mr. Plummer disputed that the company blocked such services. Huawei, one of the world's top makers of telecom equipment, has been trying to expand in the U.S. It has met resistance because of concerns it could be tied to the Chinese government and military, which the company denies. Last month the U.S. Commerce Department barred Huawei from participating in the development of a national wireless emergency network for police, fire and medical personnel because of ‘national security concerns.’ A Commerce Department official declined to elaborate. In February, Huawei withdrew its attempt to win U.S. approval for acquiring assets and server technology from 3Leaf Systems Inc. of California, citing opposition by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. The panel reviews U.S. acquisitions by foreign companies that may have national-security implications. Last year, Sprint Nextel Corp. excluded Huawei from a multibillion-dollar contract because of national-security concerns in Washington, according to people familiar with the matter. Huawei has operated in Iran's telecommunications industry since 1999, according to China's embassy in Tehran. Prior to Iran's political unrest in 2009, Huawei was already a major supplier to Iran's mobile-phone networks, along with Telefon AB L.M. Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks, a joint venture between Nokia Corp. and Siemens AG, according to MTN Irancell documents… As NSN and Ericsson pulled back, Huawei's business grew. In August 2009, two months after mass protests began, the website of China's embassy in Tehran reprinted a local article under the headline, ‘Huawei Plans Takeover of Iran's Telecom Market.’ The article said the company ‘has gained the trust and alliance of major governmental and private entities within a short period,’ and that its clients included ‘military industries.’ The same month the Chinese embassy posted the article, Creativity Software, a British company that specializes in ‘location-based services,’ announced it had won a contract to supply a system to MTN Irancell. ‘Creativity Software has worked in partnership with Huawei, where they will provide first and second level support to the operator,’ the company said… One of the ultimate winners: Huawei. According to a Huawei manager in Tehran, the company signed a contract this year to provide equipment for location-based services to MCCI in the south of Iran and is now ramping up hiring for the project. One local Iranian company Huawei has done considerable business with is Zaeim Electronic Industries. ‘Zaeim is the security and intelligence wing of every telecom bid,’ said an engineer who worked on several projects with Zaeim inside the telecom ministry.” (The Wall Street Journal. “Chinese Tech Giant Aids Iran,” 10/27/11)

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Nobel Peace Laureate and human rights activist Shrin Ebadi stated that “through use of software provided by Chinese companies, the Iranian government taps and listens to telephone conversations and monitors targeted electronic mail exchanges.” (International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, “Shirin Ebadi: ‘Nokia Siemens’ Action a Major Accomplishment for Iranians and for People Of The World,’” 10/6/10)

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130 Iranian cities “are currently taking advantage of the optic fiber network implemented by Huawei. According to Huawei electrical industries, military industries and private ISPs are among other clients of this telecom giant.” (Iran Telecom Digest, “Huawei Plans Takeover of Iran's Telecom Market,” 8/16/09)

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Huawei signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Telecommunication Company of Iran (TCI) in 2008 to offer joint educational programs on wireline and wireless technologies at the Telecommunications College in Isfahan. (Telegeography, “Huawei offers telecoms training in Iran,” 4/22/08)

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As of July 2010, Huawei had “sold roughly $800m of its products to US customers under Motorola's brand as part of a long-standing business relationship that recently went sour.” (Financial Times, "US divided on how to tackle Huawei," 7/29/10)