What just happened? A new report claims that the CIA has accused Chinese tech giant Huawei of receiving funding from the People’s Liberation Army, China’s National Security Commission, and a third branch of the nation’s state intelligence network.
According to British newspaper The Times, which cites a UK source, the Central Intelligence Agency told the country’s intelligence services about Huawei allegedly receiving funding from Chinese state security. The other Five Eyes nations (Australia, Canada, and New Zealand) were also informed.
According to the Times, the CIA “awarded a strong but not iron-cast classification of certainty” to its findings.
The US has spent years accusing Huawei of spying at the behest of the Chinese government, though it has never provided any concrete evidence. America has asked its allies not to use the firm’s 5G equipment in their networks, threatening to withhold intel from those that do. While some countries, such as Australia, have agreed with the US, others, including the UK, aren’t as worried about any potential threats. The EU does want to increase security around 5G networks, but it hasn’t proposed a ban on Huawei equipment.
Huawei is now suing the US government over the ban on its devices at a federal level, which was implemented last August, while the ongoing saga over CFO Meng Wanzhou, who is being detained in Canada and faces possible extradition to the US over claims of sanction violations, is causing more friction.
Huawei, which has long denied links with the Chinese government, said it “did not comment on unsubstantiated allegations backed up by zero evidence from anonymous sources.”
Earlier this month, MIT became the latest US University to break ties with Huawei and ZTE over what it called security risks and the government investigations into the firms.