Mobile phone and tablet maker Huawei has had enough of being accused by the US of including components in its products that report user activities to its paymasters in China. For the past two years, in particular, Huawei has been caught in the middle of espionage claims between the two superpowers.
A report in Les Echos announcing Huawei’s intention to open an R&D centre in Paris quoted Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei as stating that the company will withdraw from the US market because of increasing political problems.
Last year investigators working on behalf of the White House followed up persistent claims that Huawei’s hardware reported back to the Chinese military – and found no evidence of it. Yet US officials have advised customers to be cautious of the company’s products, undermining Huawei’s US business model.
The US has even sounded the alarm about Huawei’s plans to help South Korea’s wireless broadband network. The BBC says US senators wrote to the White House with concerns about how Huawei’s involvement with South Korea’s telecoms network could affect US security, given America’s close links with the country.
Earlier this year, Huawei expressed frustration at ongoing negative publicity in the US and said it would scale back its commitment to its US business arm. Now, it seems, Huawei has decided to abandon the US completely, though no timescale for this has been announced.