Defamation campaign launched against Huawei in Pakistan?
by Kaswar Klasra
ISLAMABAD, Aug 16 (Gwadar Pro) - Higher government officials in Islamabad rejected media reports which suggested that the Chinese telecom giant, Huawei, was allegedly involved in cheating some of its partners working on projects in Pakistan.
The remarks came after a US-based company that worked on a project in Pakistan along with Huawei accused the Chinese telecom giant of cheating. Pakistani officials, however, ruled out such accusations.
“Huawei has been working in Pakistan for decades. It has been tasked by the government of Pakistan to accomplish tasks at sensitive installations. We never witnessed any suspicious moves by the company. It is trustworthy and Pakistan is grateful to the Chinese telecom giant for transforming the telecom industry in Pakistan on the modern lines,” one of the senior officials of Pakistan telecommunication Authority told Gwadar Pro, who requested not to be named.
Government officials, politicians and officials of law enforcement agencies told Gwadar Pro that they were sure about the credibility of Huawei and that a telecom company which is undisputedly one of the top-tiered companies in its field, cannot get involved in spying.
“It could be another conspiracy against Huawei launched by its competitors. How can a company with a turnover of more than USD 60 billion per annum get involved in espionage or cheating? I can’t believe it. Rest assure you that Huawei’s competitors must have launched another fake campaign,” a high-level official of the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited told Gwadar Pro.
Buena Park, a California-based software company Business Efficiency Solutions LLC has sued Huawei in California federal court for allegedly stealing its trade secrets following their work together on a project for the law enforcement agencies of Pakistan, saying that Huawei used its technology to create a "backdoor" that allegedly allowed it [Huawei] to collect sensitive data "important to Pakistan's national security."
This correspondent contacted higher officials of BES who declined comments. However, an official at Huawei Pakistan said they were evaluating the allegations but insisted they were baseless.
An official source from Pakistan’s Punjab province confirmed that the government of Punjab had awarded a contract to Huawei for developing a system of police and law enforcement agencies. However, he said, Pakistani authorities did not find any deficiencies, loopholes or wrongdoing in the project.
“Huawei has been accomplishing tasks in Punjab for a long time. It was awarded the contract of the Lahore Safe City project which has helped the Punjab government break the backbone of terrorists. I believe, it can be a fake story aimed at damaging the reputation of the company,” a senior government official on Punjab’s Home Department told Gwadar Pro over the telephone from Lahore.
Chinese companies working in Pakistan enjoy a great reputation. However, they have been coming under attack by their western competitors as well as western media time and again.
In June 2020, Forbes magazine came under fire for falsely suggesting that China was building a naval base in Pakistan under the headline: China's new high-security compound in Pakistan may indicate naval plans. The report speculated on the purpose of construction work undertaken at Gwadar Port.
In response, the port operator refuted suggestions that the naval complex was being built, saying that the construction was for office buildings to be used by it and its partner companies.
"We are stunned by the news published in Forbes" on June 2, said Zhang Baozhong, chairman and general manager of China Overseas Ports Holding Company (COPHC), the overall operator of Gwadar Port.
"They referred to our office building allegedly being a naval complex, which is factually incorrect. The news report is factually wrong. Hence rejected."