Earlier this year, the Central Intelligence Agency informed its counterparts in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK that Chinese technology company Huawei has received funding from the Central National Security Commission of the Communist Party of China, the People’s Liberation Army, and a “third branch of the Chinese state intelligence network,” according to The Times.
The paper cites an anonymous source in the UK that says that details were shared with “only the most senior UK officials,” which that the CIA “awarded a strong but not cast-iron classification of certainty. Huawei has consistently denied claims that it has ties to the country’s government, has said that it would “categorically refuse” any requests for data from the government, and “declined to comment on what it called unsubstantiated allegations.”
The US intelligence community has been wary of Huawei, and other Chinese-based companies like ZTE, over concerns that the Chinese government has too much influence over them (Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei was a former member of the People’s Liberation Army), and that it could use their infrastructure for intelligence gathering purposes. Those concerns have grown as global telecommunications networks begin to transition to 5G networks — a transition that Huawei