U.S. Ambassador in Bucharest: “Now more than ever Huawei is the wrong way”
Op-ed by U.S. Ambassador to Romania, Adrian Zuckerman.
Huawei and the Chinese Embassy continue to try to mislead the people of Romania. The purported clarifications of Huawei’s position distributed by the Chinese Embassy, various authors with checkered pasts and Russian disinformation outlets are demonstrably false and unavailing. The Communist Chinese disdain freedom, the rule of law, human rights, and the truth. Huawei and its Communist Chinese bosses in Beijing are masters at intimidation, influence peddling and trying to prevent honest Romanians from reading the truth.
Huawei was indicted due to its practice of using fraud and deception to steal trade secrets. According to a Justice Department release dated February 13, 2019:
The indicted defendants include Huawei and four official and unofficial subsidiaries — Huawei Device Co. Ltd. (Huawei Device), Huawei Device USA Inc. (Huawei USA), Futurewei Technologies Inc. (Futurewei) and Skycom Tech Co. Ltd. (Skycom) — as well as Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Wanzhou Meng (Meng)…
As revealed by the government’s independent investigation and review of court filings, the new charges in this case relate to the alleged decades-long efforts by Huawei, and several of its subsidiaries, both in the U.S. and in the People’s Republic of China, to misappropriate intellectual property, including from six U.S. technology companies, in an effort to grow and operate Huawei’s business. The misappropriated intellectual property included trade secret information and copyrighted works, such as source code and user manuals for internet routers, antenna technology and robot testing technology. Huawei, Huawei USA and Futurewei agreed to reinvest the proceeds of this alleged racketeering activity in Huawei’s worldwide business, including in the United States.
The means and methods of the alleged misappropriation included entering into confidentiality agreements with the owners of the intellectual property and then violating the terms of the agreements by misappropriating the intellectual property for the defendants’ own commercial use, recruiting employees of other companies and directing them to misappropriate their former employers’ intellectual property, and using proxies such as professors working at research institutions to obtain and provide the technology to the defendants. As part of the scheme, Huawei allegedly launched a policy instituting a bonus program to reward employees who obtained confidential information from competitors. The policy made clear that employees who provided valuable information were to be financially rewarded.
Huawei’s efforts to steal trade secrets and other sophisticated U.S. technology were successful. Through the methods of deception described above, the defendants obtained nonpublic intellectual property relating to internet router source code, cellular antenna technology and robotics. As a consequence of its campaign to steal this technology and intellectual property, Huawei was able to drastically cut its research and development costs and associated delays, giving the company a significant and unfair competitive advantage.
When confronted with evidence of wrongdoing, the defendants allegedly made repeated misstatements to U.S. officials, including FBI agents and representatives from the U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, regarding their efforts to misappropriate trade secrets. Similarly, the defendants engaged in obstructive conduct to minimize litigation risk and the potential for criminal investigations, including the very investigation that led to this prosecution.
The superseding indictment also includes new allegations about Huawei and its subsidiaries’ involvement in business and technology projects in countries subject to U.S., E.U. and/or U.N. sanctions, such as Iran and North Korea – as well as the company’s efforts to conceal the full scope of that involvement. The defendants’ activities, which included arranging for shipment of Huawei goods and services to end users in sanctioned countries, were typically conducted through local affiliates in the sanctioned countries. Reflecting the inherent sensitivity of conducting business in jurisdictions subject to sanctions, internal Huawei documents allegedly referred to such jurisdictions with code names. For example, the code “A2” referred to Iran, and “A9” referred to North Korea.
Huawei employees also allegedly lied about Huawei’s relationship to Skycom, falsely asserting it was not a subsidiary of Huawei. The company further claimed that Huawei had only limited operations in Iran and that Huawei did not violate U.S. or other laws or regulations related to Iran. In fact, the indictment alleges Skycom was Huawei’s unofficial subsidiary that, among other services, assisted the Government of Iran in performing domestic surveillance, including during the demonstrations in Tehran in 2009.
It is incomprehensible that any Romanian can advocate for Huawei or the Communist Chinese. It is even more incomprehensible that some Romanian press outlets so easily succumb to the power of the almighty RON and publish propaganda for these corrupt entities and Communists. I was in Bucharest in December 2019; I stood in front of the interior ministry; I read the names of the martyrs who lost their lives 30 years ago in the revolution against the Communists. I do not want Romanian children to have to read the names of future martyr patriots because of payments received by the greedy press from unscrupulous Communist Chinese actors to run their propaganda. The Communist Chinese control the media and press in China and want to do exactly the same in Romania. Do not let them. Just say NO!
The Communist Chinese party monitors the lives of all Chinese people in China. Communist China monitors its citizens through various technologies including the internet, cameras posted throughout the country, phones, and other device cameras. Companies like Tencent, Dahua Technology, Hikvision, SenseTime, ByteDance, Megvii, Huawei, and ZTE, have created products, hardware, and software, to assist the Communist Chinese government implement its China Internet Security law. As part of the Skynet Project there were over 200 million close circuit tv cameras in China as of last year. By the end of this year the number is anticipated to exceed 600 million.
Mobile phone apps are also used in China to allow citizens to report “bad behaviour” by their friends and neighbors! The Communist Chinese call it social supervision. Isn’t that where Romania was 30 years ago? Is that what you want again? Big data collection and analyses, facial recognition and monitoring of social media use – yes, isn’t Huawei great! Internet and social media monitoring by the central Communist government – it’s the good old days back again for Romania.
Huawei, its shell companies, and hidden subsidiaries are now being held accountable for their pattern of criminality and espionage. The question remains what about the other Chinese Communist companies engaging in similar behavior. Chinese Nuctech employees in Namibia were accused of public sector bribery worth tens of millions. Earlier this year Nuctech bribed ranking police officers in Taiwan—again, another public procurement, and more suitcases of Chinese Communist money. This is now happening in Romania.
President Trump, Secretary Pompeo, and the American people do not support Communist oppressors, their militaries, or their surveillance states. Foreign oppressors with concentration camps and companies that do business with Iran and North Korea will never see a bit of support from the United States or its allies. 5G is critical, but nothing is worth that Faustian bargain. There are safe and clean path 5G alternatives like Nokia, Ericsson, and Samsung.
5G advanced technologies in defense, transportation, energy, law enforcement, and ordinary everyday life will bring the world new opportunities. We can build a secure Clean Network 5G infrastructure today to shape tomorrow’s digital world. However, Huawei and the Communist Chinese want to make Romania the surveillance state of 30 years ago- just like it is in Communist China. Send Beijing a message—the Communist surveillance state no longer exists in Romania. President Trump and the American people had the courage to say no. I know the brave and courageous people of Romania will also say no. The people of Romania want democracy, privacy, decency and the rule of law. The people of Romania want to do this the RIGHT way. Huawei is the WRONGWAY for Romania.