Last week, the Wall Street Journal published a story regarding Huawei’s hand in helping African leaders gain illegal access to their rivals’ information. The reveal, which was based on incidents in Uganda and Zambia, has been unwelcome to the Chinese corporation, which faulted the publication for allegedly pushing false information to its millions of readers across the globe.
For context, Huawei engineers working in the two countries were allegedly complicit to illegal access to online information, which was then used to nab protestors and political opponents. In Uganda, it was reported that the government of Museveni sought the skills of Huawei engineers, who then used Israeli-made spyware tools to infiltrate Bobi Wine’s WhatsApp messages. This intrusion helped stop protests that the musician cum politician had put in place to rally against abuses fronted by the Uganda government.
On the other hand, the same tactic was used in Zambia to zero down on bloggers who were publishing information that aligned to the voice of the President’s opponents.
Of course, a story of this magnitude sent shockwaves across the world, bearing in mind that the company’s CV is not very good owing to Trump’s constant reminders that Huawei is a corporation that is very ‘dangerous.’
Huawei has since issued a legal demand letter to the Journal.
“The Article is neither a fair nor a responsible representation of Huawei’s legitimate business activities in these countries. Huawei is especially disappointed in the Article and video and radio podcast in light of the information Huawei provided to you during your research for this Article, including its email communications from June 19,” reads the letter to WSJ.
Huawei acknowledges the ‘claims’ are damaging and insist the entire story is based on falsehoods. It has also reported it will defend its brand, and ready to discuss the claims made by WSJ.
“Huawei takes these false and defamatory statements about its business seriously, especially when published by a news source as well regarded as the Journal. The publication of these false statements has and will continue to damage Huawei’s reputation and business interests across the globe. Huawei reserves all rights and claims in this regard and will defend its conduct and reputation. We would be happy to discuss with you related to this matter,” concludes the statement.