Now the group is under investigation in India, following allegations that it hacked state-run telecoms carrier Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL).
A White House-ordered review in 2012 found no evidence that Huawei – founded by Ren Zhengfei, a former officer for the People’s Liberation Army – had been spying for the Chinese government.
The US indignation over Huawei has started smack of hypocrisy, given leaked documents suggest the US government has been exploiting its own local companies – including Apple and Google – to snoop on foreign citizens, and all the Edward Snowden NSA revelations.
But now it is India’s turn.
“An incident about alleged hacking of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited network by Huawei, a Chinese telecom company, has come to notice,” minister of state for communications and IT, Killi Kruparani, told parliament, according to the Press Trust of India. “The government has constituted an inter-ministerial team to investigate the matter.”
The company denies any wrongdoing. In an emailed statement, a spokesperson for Huawei India, told beyondbrics:
Huawei India denies such allegation of hacking as reported but always and continues to work closely with customers and government of India to address any network security issue that may arise in technical and business operations with commitment to fully comply with network security norms, regulations and laws locally and internationally.
Another nation making accusations is not what Huawei needs, just as it is trying hard to convince the wider world it has clean hands. Last year, it put the founding family in the limelight for the first time with Cathy Meng, chief financial officer and Zhengfei’s daughter, holding a press conference.
And Huawei – which earned net profits of $2.5bn on revenues of $35.4bn in 2012 – has now published two White Papers on cyber security. Last year’s edition underlines the fact that 70 per cent of the materials the company sources comes from companies outside China and the US is the biggest provider, contributing 32 per cent of the parts.
There will be a lot of third parties watching to see what India’s investigators come up with.