KINGSTON, Jamaica, Oct 22 - Chinese technology giant Huawei has strengthened its presence in Jamaica by opening new offices and investing 300 million dollars in order to continue the digital transformation and further expands the company’s footprint locally
Prime Minister Andrew Holness welcomed the initiative and congratulated the Asian company for adopting this decision and expects its continued growth in the territory and in the region.
‘Huawei provides cutting-edge connectivity, has played an essential role in the growth of wireless technology and improves data penetration with LTE implementations,’ he underlined.
Holness cited the company’s commitment to protecting the country’s environment by ensuring the newly constructed work building has a low carbon footprint and uses renewable energy sources.
The company provides indirect jobs in information and communication technologies to more than 300 people, while the investments indicate strong confidence in the country, estimated the head of government.
Huawei’s Vice President, Michael Xue, focusing on Latin America and the Caribbean, thanked Jamaica for its support over the past 15 years as it established his roots locally.
The Chinese ambassador in this capital, Chen Daojiang, stressed that the relationship between the two States remains solid and recalled that this year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral ties.
The giant Huawei, with 65 availability zones around the world as well as products and services in more than 170 States, has been operating in Jamaica since 2007 with ascending cooperation until becoming a strategic partner.
Huawei Technologies Ltd (HTL) is a Chinese multinational information technology (IT) and consumer electronics company which has, for years, faced numerous allegations of designing its communications equipment with hardware and software that allows governments to spy on citizens.
HTL equipment has been banned by many countries in numerous sensitive areas. In 2005 India banned HTL from bidding on a contract to provide cellular equipment to a major Indian cellular network; In 2009 India’s Department of Telecommunications publicly warned companies to be cautious when doing business with HTL; in 2010 all government arrangements with HTL were cancelled due to, “doubtful integrity and dubious links.” India was not the only country to take action to protect its citizens.
The United Kingdom expressed concern as early as 2005 and raised the issue in its legislature in 2009. In 2012, the governments of Australia and Canada excluded HTL from tendering for contracts to expand their respective countries’ cellular networks.
In 2011 the US government used extraordinary laws to force US companies to disclose ties to HTL. The following year, the US House Intelligence Committee recommended: “[HTL] be barred from doing business with the US government.” The committee described HTL as a national security threat.
According to intelligence analysts, equipment made by HTL is designed with embedded hardware and software to allow remote access to data. Respected German security experts Felix Lindner and Gregor Kopf reported in 2012 that wireless equipment, particularly routers, made by HTL could not only be accessed by external parties, but could actually be controlled.
In other words, HTL could give a government the ability to directly take over a HTL-manufactured device, perhaps remotely activating a computer’s webcam or a phone’s microphone, and sending data and images to [government] spy agencies.
In the meantime, the United States Justice Department have charged two alleged Chinese intelligence officers with attempting to interfere in the prosecution of a major Chinese telecommunications company in the US.
The indictment did not name the company, calling it a global telecommunications firm based in China, but Its understood that the company in question is Huawei.
The criminal complaint unsealed on Monday charged He Guochun and Wang Zheng with obstruction of justice and He with money laundering.
The US Justice Department accused the two men, who both remain at large, of paying a US informant $61,000 worth of bitcoin to supply internal documents related to the case against the company.
“Today’s complaint underscores the unrelenting efforts of the [Chinese] government to undermine the rule of law,” Breon Peace, US attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a statement.
“The government of China sought to interfere with the rights and freedoms of individuals in the United States and to undermine our judicial system that protects those rights,” US Attorney General Merrick Garland told reporters during a news conference. “They did not succeed.”