There is no respite for the worries of Huawei, the Chinese telecom
equipment and solutions major, in international markets.
United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), an independent agency, urged Huawei
to end its business in Iran. UANI alleges that Huawei provides Iranian regime
with cellular and electronic technology that it has used to conduct
surveillance on its citizens, and track down human rights activists and
Huawei is reported to have 1,000 employees in Iran and offices in six
Iranian cities. It also partners with Iranian firms which work directly with
Iran’s military and intelligence services, including the Islamic Revolutionary
Guards Corps elite special-forces unit.
“Telecommunications firms have left Iran not only because of Iran’s
dangerous and irresponsible behavior with respect to its nuclear weapons
program and sponsorship of terrorism, but because of the ample and documented
evidence of Iranian officials using the technology provided by the companies to
conduct surveillance and track down human rights activists and dissidents,” said
Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, president, UANI, in a letter to Huawei executives
on November 1.
UANI requests a reply from Huawei
by November 15, 2011.
“The statement by William Plummer, Huawei’s vice president of External
Affairs, that Huawei’s operations in Iran are the same as what we’re doing in
any market,” is an obtuse and indifferent remark that misses the point
entirely. Responsible governments do not use Huawei’s technologies to illegally
trample on the human rights of its own citizens,” Wallace added.
Though Huawei is feeling the music in Iran, the Chinese telecom
equipment maker is strengthening its presence in the Middle East, one of the
fastest growing mobile markets in the world.
Huawei has partnered with key operators in MEA like Etisalat, STC, Zain,
Batelco, du, Qtel, Mobily, Orange Telecom and Vodafone.
Huawei, Etisalat, and the Export-Import Bank of China announced their MoU for
strategic cooperation, encircling Etisalat’s entire footprint in 18 countries.
The agreement was signed to enhance people’s lives with emerging telecom
technologies by innovative new technologies across Middle East, Africa and
Huawei associated with STC and deployed Middle East’s largest pre-commercial
LTE network. Moreover, Huawei has also deployed LTE network for Etisalat in the
the U.S government barred Huawei from participating in a nationwide emergency program called
Public Safety 700-MHz Demonstration Network. Huawei is in the process of
convincing the US government.
The U.S. committee on foreign investment prompted Huawei in February to
wind-down its purchase of California-based 3Leaf Systems’ patents after U.S.
lawmakers said the acquisition could be a risk for U.S. computer
Huawei also failed to acquire
software supplier 2Wire and Motorola’s wireless business last year and 3Com in 2008.
Recently, the department of telecommunications
in India asked BSNL to not to select any Chinese vendor (Huawei and ZTE) for
its Rs 5,000 crore contract for 15 million GSM lines.
While the U.S and Indian governments are cagey about security issues,
Huawei is strengthening its presence in private sector. It is time for Huawei
to come out of this ongoing tussle.
By Baburajan K