Report about Huawei work in N. Korea raises questions - Mobile World Live

Report about Huawei work in N. Korea raises questions

22 JUL 2019

Huawei faced renewed criticism after a report from The Washington Post (WP) alleged the company helped build and maintain a 3G wireless network in North Korea, potentially in violation of US export restrictions.

Citing internal documents provided by a former employee, WP said Huawei supplied network infrastructure, encryption and network assurance services for the North Korean government’s restrictive Koryolink network, which launched in 2008.

It reportedly worked alongside Chinese state-run company Panda International Information Technology, which supplied software for the system and transported Huawei equipment including base stations and antennas into the country.

Sources said Huawei employees left their offices in North Korea in 2016. The same year, the US government subpoenaed the company to disclose information about direct or indirect transactions with Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria, as part of an investigation into whether the company violated restrictions on the export of technology to those countries.

Export controls
The report renewed the question of whether Huawei may have run afoul of US law by sending equipment containing US components to a banned entity.

In January, the US government filed criminal charges against Huawei and its CFO Meng Wanzhou for violating trade sanctions on Iran, but has not taken action related to North Korea.

Huawei declined to either confirm or deny the validity of the documents cited in the report, but in a statement to WP said it has no business presence in the country. It added it is “fully committed to comply with all applicable laws and regulations in the countries and regions where we operate, including all export control and sanction laws and regulations”.

The news sparked fresh backlash from US politicians, who pressed for legislation to keep Huawei on a trade blacklist despite recent efforts by President Donald Trump to ease restrictions.

It was unclear how the report might impact a meeting between White House officials and tech executives scheduled for Monday.

Reuters reported the heads of Google, Qualcomm, Intel, Micron and Broadcom were set to discuss the impact of the Huawei ban on their businesses.



Diana Goovaerts

Diana is Mobile World Live's US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana came to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and CED Magazine, digital-only...

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