It appears Huawei could be in some more deep water when it comes to its relationship with the United States and the legality of its operations.
According to a new report from The Washington Post, Huawei allegedly has secretly assisted North Korea over the past eight years with the development of that country’s wireless network. Since it is very likely Huawei would have integrated equipment from U.S.-based companies in that network, this could be proof that Huawei violated international export laws, as dealing with North Korea is forbidden on multiple levels.
The Washington Post claims it has tangible proof that links Huawei to North Korea, obtained from three separate sources. All the sources wish to remain anonymous due to fear of retaliation.
In a statement, Huawei said it has “no business presence” in North Korea, but the spokesman declined to answer any detailed questions about the allegations. He also declined to verify the documents in question obtained by The Post, but did not dispute their authenticity.
Allegedly, Huawei conducted business with North Korea through a third-party Chinese organization called Panda International Information Technology Co. Ltd. As such, it is difficult to ascertain which business was conducted by Huawei and which was done by Panda — although The Post does claim it is clear Huawei is very much involved.
The U.S. Department of Commerce — which also declined to comment on the allegations — has an open investigation into ties between North Korea and Huawei. However, it hasn’t been able to link the two since it began investigating in 2016.
Huawei is already on the U.S. government’s Entity List, which forbids it from conducting most business with U.S.-based companies. If these North Korea connections end up being legitimate, this could cause the company to fall even further out of favor with the United States and other countries.