Huawei faced a fresh assault from the US government as officials set new visa restrictions on employees working for the vendor and other Chinese technology companies over alleged human rights abuses.
Secretary of State Michael Pompeo (pictured, centre) stated the conditions apply to certain Huawei employees accused of providing “material support” to the Chinese Communist Party, which he accused of censoring political dissidents, and forcing citizens into internment camps and servitude. It is unclear how many Huawei workers will be impacted.
He said employees of other Chinese technology companies will also be targeted, but did not elaborate.
Pompeo warned global operators should “consider themselves on notice”.
“If they are doing business with Huawei, they are doing business with human rights abusers”.
Huawei has long denied ties to the Chinese government, a fact emphasised by founder and CEO Ren Zenghfei in a rare media briefing in early 2019. On its website, the company explains it is not possible for it to engage in spying because operators “control all aspects” of a network, including security and user data.
The US move comes the day after the UK government banned the use of Huawei kit in operators’ 5G networks, a decision Pompeo praised.
Pompeo noted the visa restrictions were implemented under a law allowing the US to block admission to individuals whose entry would “have potentially serious adverse foreign policy consequences”.