The fight over the installation of critical 5G infrastructure and components all over the world is heating up with a company called Huawei having a head start, but the United States of America is determined to catch up. I am surprised it took so long for the lawmakers in western countries to realize the threat that can be posed by a communication network that is installed by a company with known and questionable ties to the communist party of China.
This article will look into the opaque beginning of Huawei, its fast growth, the potential threat it poses to other countries using its equipment, and how will it survive the ban instituted by the president of the USA. Before we get into the list of countries that have banned Huawei or the proof that the equipment made by this fast-growing conglomerate can be used for spying, let us examine how it got its beginning.
What Type of Company is Huawei?
What is Huawei is a common question asked by millions of users on search engines all over the world. This Chinese conglomerate operates under the name Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd in China, but uses dozens of subsidiary names in many countries either to hide its footprint or to dominate the market.
Apart from manufacturing smartphones, it is also involved in making telecommunications and networking equipment for cell phone providers, large volume business users, and the public in general. Currently, Huawei main operating center is located in a city called Shenzhen, which can be found in the Guangdong province of China.
The initial founding of the company can be traced to 1987, and within that short period of time, have managed to become the largest manufacturer of crucial telecommunications equipment in the whole world. How did that happen? Read on to discover some of the known and hidden secrets why this company is so valuable to China’s plan to become a world economic power.
Initially, Huawei specialized in doing subcontractor work for western firms looking for cheap manufacturing labor. From assembling critical equipment, the company got an inside look at how certain components are designed to function seamlessly.
I suspect the initial technology developed by Huawei came from China’s policy requiring companies to transfer intellectual property secrets if they want access to the billion-plus consumers there. Yes, at present, Huawei claims the company is entirely owned by its founder and its employees.
Sorry, it has no publicly traded stocks as we speak. A tech company with over 100 Billion dollars in yearly revenue and opaque ownership structure in a well known communist country? Slowly, by the end of this piece, you will understand why Western countries are worried about the known and hidden threats posed by this technology company, regardless of the promises of its founder.
What Do We Know About Huawei Founder?
Before we get to the Huawei spying evidence found in the news let’s take a closer look at the guy credited with founding Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. By the way, the full name for the founder of Huawei is Alex Munroe Ren Zhengfei, but he’s commonly referred to as Ren Zhengfei leaving the two English names out of the equation.
According to Wikipedia, there is also a Chinese spelling of the name if you can read Chinese fonts. He was born on October 25, in the year 1944, and claims he started this extremely profitable company with only $5,000.
After high school, his higher learning occurred at Chongqing University, where he graduated in the 1960s. As required by law then, he joined China’s Peoples Liberation Army, which is often called the PLA. Mr. Ren worked in the PLA information technology unit but was said to have never acquired any type of military rank despite been credited for several technological feats.
Some have claimed that his parents membership and ties to the faction that lost the Chinese civil war might be the reason why the creator of Huawei never got any rank in the Chinese military organization.
The story about his military background does not “pass the smell test” especially when one understands the way military organizations are structured. I suspect his rank in the PLA was cleverly omitted to create the impression of fewer ties as the prowess of Huawei grew all over the world.
Anyway, he left the army is 1983 or should I say retired. He got his start in the electronics business after moving to the city of Shenzhen. Based on scant records, Mr. Ren Zhengfei founded Huawei in 1987.
Based on what I have read about the way China operates, nothing grows that fast without the approval of the communist party and the Chinese military. Also, he’s a dues-paying member of the Communist Party in China to this day.
I suspect Huawei’s rise to become a force to be reckoned with in the telecommunications industry was carefully facilitated by the ruling party in China, which might be the reason for its non-disclosure of the true owners of the company.
Claiming it is fully owned by its employees is just as meaningless as it sounds. This company is now involved in the manufacture and installation of critical communication infrastructure all over the world, and open ties to the communist party would not be good for business. Mr. Ren is currently on his third marriage and has three kids all from the prior two.
After dominating China due to the generous help of the communist authority, Huawei reach is now global in all aspects of its business dealings. At present, it holds the number one position when it comes to telecommunications equipment and the number two position in the smartphones marketplace.
Mr. Ren Zhengfei sounds genuine when he denies that the Peoples Liberation Army of China have any sway over how its equipment is designed and made to function, but anyone with business dealings in that country knows it is a totalitarian form of government.
Can Huawei deny any request by the PLA to create a backdoor in any telecommunications equipment? Probably not in my opinion, but let’s examine the most frequently asked questions about this company.
Popular Questions Asked About Huawei
Is the 5G Made by Huawei Better?
From everything gathered about the 5G equipment made by Huawei, one can conclude it is not better. In fact, some of the internal components of the telecommunications equipment made by this company depend on key components made in Western countries to work properly. So to answer the question bluntly, Huawei equipment is not better, but everything points to the equipment been the cheapest.
Why the Rush to Initiate Huawei ban?
Thanks to the efforts of the president of the United States of America Donald J. Trump, the threats posed by Huawei creating and installing telecommunications equipment all over the world is now recognized and getting the recognition it deserves.
Presently, the Huawei ban is not universal as the USA wants, but certain countries are having second thoughts about using Huawei telecommunications equipment. Huawei is highly successful in developing countries with generous low-interest loans to get deals done quickly. The security and reliability concerns raised about the equipment from Huawei is creating roadblocks in advanced countries as the race to get 5G fully implemented heats up.
Is Huawei the Only 5G Provider?
From everything I gathered for this article, there are other competent 5G equipment providers all over the world. But, Huawei is probably the only 5G equipment provider in the world that can design, install and make 5G equipment functional without having to subcontract any part of the process out to other entities. That is a big deal because countries or cell phone providers seeking end-to-end functioning 5G solutions have few other alternatives.
Can Huawei Use the Installed Equipment to Spy on Users?
Everyone should be aware that any digital equipment in use today comes with a back door. Can the 5G equipment made by Huawei be used to spy on users, yes from the way telecommunication equipment is made to work. The on-going fight is over which agency controls the backdoor, the National Security Agency (NSA) of the USA, or the Peoples Liberation Army of Communist China.
Is Huawei a Security Threat?
Even if you view China as a friendly country, the idea of having a communist country control key telecommunications equipment is scary in all its implications. Can the PLA ask Huawei to create chaos in any installed equipment in times of conflict? Probably, yes, and you can bet it will be compiled with.
Regardless of the Huawei spying evidence or Huawei backdoor proof circulating in the digital space, the critical question that needs to be answered is that of trust. Is Huawei under the dominion and control of the PLA in China? From its opaque ownership structure, one can conclude that the company s a functioning branch of the Peoples Liberation Army of China.
The founder of Huawei is also a member of the communist party of China and only a naive fool would agree that he can ignore or deny any request from the PLA. If that request is for the company to make Huawei phones spy on you, from all available information it will be carried out.
The available Huawei spying evidence is not conclusive neither is the Huawei backdoor proof. It takes a crook to understand other crooks, which is why the NSA of America is aware of the capabilities that can be hidden within any 5G telecommunications equipment installed.
It is true, that the 5G equipment made by Huawei is banned in Australia. I will not get into the merits of any Huawei ban, but everyone needs to make a choice here. Do you want the National Security Agency of America or the Peoples Liberation Army of Communist China controlling the backdoor access to any 5G equipment? My preference will be neither, but if forced to make a choice, America will win by a mile! At least in America, we have established rule-of-law precedents while Communist China does not.