Huawei’s ownership structure and its relationship with Beijing authorities have been hotly debated in the Western press.
But recently, a Huawei insider detailed to The Epoch Times that Huawei’s relationship with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) runs deep.
The ex-wife of Haosheng Hudson Liu, Huawei’s executive in Australia and former CEO of Huawei Indonesia, recently told The Epoch Times that Huawei uses its business relationships with foreign telecommunications companies to conduct espionage and influence foreign companies and governments on behalf of the CCP.
Liu joined Huawei in 1998. He was formerly the deputy managing director of Huawei’s office in Germany and CEO of the company’s Belgian and Indonesian offices. In May 2019, he was appointed CEO of Huawei Australia. Australia was the first country to sanction Huawei. The company was banned from participating in the construction of Australia’s 5G network last year.
Ren Hua married Liu in 2004, followed him on his postings abroad, and the couple formally divorced by 2017.
Ren said that after the breakup, her phone was intercepted and her network and mailboxes were attacked and monitored by hackers. Her bank account’s personal account information was under the control of hackers. Ren believes that this series of persecution comes from the CCP. As the ex-wife of Huawei executive, she says her personal experiences are enough to debunk Huawei’s claims that it is not controlled by the CCP.
Ren said that Huawei is not a private enterprise as self-claimed, but a company that carries out special orders and receives special treatment from the CCP.
Keeping Foreign Heads of States Close
To Ren’s knowledge, Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei had asked Huawei’s representative offices in various countries to maintain positive relationships with local authorities, especially heads of state, so as to cooperate and assist the CCP in foreign diplomacy.
Ren said that during her stay in Belgium, Liu regularly reported to the local Chinese Embassy. In 2015 when Liu invited the King of Belgium to visit Huawei and the Chinese government, she heard Liu mention that Ren Zhengfei had notified and asked all overseas representative offices of Huawei to uphold public relations with each local country’s heads of state and important officials and to invite them to visit Huawei and China.
Liu was, of course, Huawei’s lead executive in Belgium bet 2014 to 2016, and Belgium is the headquarters of the European Union. Huawei has been operating in Belgium since 2007 and has five offices in Brussels, Leuven, Ghent and New Leuven.
Ren said when Belgian King Philippe Léopold Louis Marie visited China in June 2015, Huawei put in a lot of effort behind the scenes. During his stay in China, the Belgian King visited Huawei’s headquarters in Shenzhen and met with CEO Ren Zhengfei.
On Nov. 12, 2015 the first Huawei customer service store with integrated service and sales opened its doors in Brussels. The owner of the store is a pro-Communist overseas Chinese whose relations with the Chinese Embassy are atypical.
Although Huawei’s market relationship in Belgium is deepening, the international community’s doubts about whether Huawei is a spy portal for the Chinese government have not diminished. In December 2018, Vice President of the European Commission Andrus Ansip pointed out that the EU should be vigilant against Huawei and other Chinese technology companies, stating that the chips produced by these companies may be used “to get our secrets.”
In May 2016, Liu was transferred to Huawei Indonesia. Huawei’s Indonesian company was established in 2000. With a population of more than 264 million, Indonesia has the fourth largest population in the world, behind only China, India and the United States. Most Indonesian telecommunications companies rely on foreign equipment to operate. According to the CCP’s Xinhua News Agency, “Huawei has been operating in Indonesia for 16 years. Through the establishment of the Joint Innovation Center and cooperation with the Indonesian Ministry of Information (Kominfo), it has participated extensively in the development of information and communication technologies in Indonesia.”
In February 2019 following the Mobile World Congress, Indonesia signed a five-year network maintenance and equipment supply contract with Huawei despite protests from the United States.
According to Ren, Huawei not only controls the Indonesian telecommunications industry but has great influence over government policy. Huawei’s long-term contract was signed with Telkom Indonesia, which is majority-owned by the Indonesian government. In addition to Huawei’s economic and technical cooperation with Telkom Indonesia, Huawei can be expected to influence the Indonesian government by extension.
According to Ren, Huawei has close ties with the Chinese Embassy. During major Chinese holidays, Huawei’s foreign representatives are invited to participate in activities organized by the Chinese Embassy. Ren has also participated in such events.
The ambassador to the Chinese Communist Party in Indonesia has also viewed memos from Huawei Indonesia. On the website of Chinese Embassy in Indonesia on May 28, 2018, the article “Ambassador Xiao Qian Visits Huawei Indonesia” was published, which said “On May 24, 2018, Ambassador Xiao Qian visited PT Huawei Tech Investment and heard a briefing by Huawei Indonesia on the company’s recent work and achievements, accompanied by Huawei Indonesia CEO Hudson Liu, Vice President Peng Jun, Vice President Li Fei, and Vice President Selina Wen. Ambassador Xiao spoke highly of Huawei’s development achievements and its contribution to the economy and society in Indonesia.”
Huawei is Involved in Benefit Transfer
Huawei has rapidly expanded its overseas market share in recent years. Under the strategic deployment of the CCP, Huawei has helped the CCP develop relationships with foreign governments, tried to infiltrate foreign governments, and is also suspected of bribing politicians in foreign countries.
Ren said, “In July 2017, our family was on holiday in Indonesia. When we met with some Huawei Indonesia employees Yao Moumou, the account manager of Indonesia Telecom, and Liu Haosheng talked about how Huawei obtained its contract with Telkom as well as how Huawei transferred benefits to Indonesia government spokesperson Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, the Minister of Communications, the Telkom Indonesia CEO, and other related people.”
Luhut has a special relationship with the Chinese government. Whether as the coordinating minister for the Political, Legal, and Security Affairs in the past, or as the current Minister for Maritime Affairs, Luhut has always been an important leader in coordinating bilateral cooperation with China from the Indonesian side. He founded his own Toba Sejahtra Group in 2004, whose activities cover mining, energy, plantation, and real estate.
Huawei disputes the assertion that it is subject to the commands of the CCP. On March 20, U.S. public relations companies Racepoint Global and Burson Cohn and Wolfe registered as Huawei’s agents overseas. The two companies asked Huawei to confirm that it is not subject to the supervision of foreign governments, has no foreign government shares, and does not receive foreign government funding, control or subsidies, but this has yet to be confirmed by Huawei.
Huawei is Supported by the CCP
Huawei also receives special treatment from the CCP. According to a Xinhua News Agency report from September 2009, China Development Bank (CDB) and Huawei signed a round of strategic cooperation agreements to expand the credit line between the two parties to $30 billion. It was an increase of $20 billion from the credit line provided in 2005.
The shares of CDB are held by the Ministry of Finance of the People’s Republic of China and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange. CDB has provided massive low-interest loans to Huawei for many years. In the overseas telecommunications market, Huawei can use below-cost pricing to grab market share and achieve the goal of rapid expansion.
In order to seize the overseas market share, Huawei has even helped overseas businesses obtain low-interest loans from CDB that are lower than other loan interest rates. If the business subsequently goes bankrupt, the business would not need to repay its loan from the CDB. This means that businesses do not need to bear any financial risks or future consequences when using Huawei equipment. This is equivalent to CDB helping Huawei implement disguised bribery to foreign telecom operators.
However, Huawei isn’t just giving out free equipment. In addition to seizing the market, many countries have also questioned that behind Huawei’s low-cost products are other ulterior motives. The worry is that Huawei’s network will be used by CCP spies. During peacetime communication channels are wiretapped, and during wartime the signals could be suddenly cut off, realizing the ambition of the CCP to control, monitor, and infiltrate its rivals with technology.