Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei will open its Dongguan Global Cyber Security and Privacy Protection Transparency Center today.
The Shenzhen-based company has stated the Center will further its devotion to transparency in user data protection and serve as a platform for multilateral cybersecurity cooperation. The new campus will collaborate with Huawei’s existing centers in the UK, Germany, Italy, the United Arab Emirates, Canada and Belgium.
The centers are a response to the criticism Huawei has received regarding its links to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Since 2012, Huawei has been accused of assisting the PLA in foreign espionage operations by hardwiring hidden backdoors into its technology, particularly its 5G equipment. At the time, the company released a white paper admitting to the practice and committing to redress their operations, but the backdoors have stayed and the white paper has since been scrubbed from their website. Their recalcitrance has led to Huawei’s products being banned by Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Taiwan and the US.
Expect the Center to assist in disseminating misinformation regarding Huawei’s military ties. The company’s founder—Ren Zhengfei—is a veteran of the PLA and is highly unlikely to reverse his staunch support of the military in the long-term.
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Bilal is the Director of Training and Development. He holds a master’s degree in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University where he extensively researched the US war in Afghanistan. Previously, Bilal has worked independently throughout mainland China as a teacher and as a domestic political communications fellow with Murmuration.