Americans working in research and development at Huawei’s Shenzhen headquarters were repatriated two weeks ago after the United States blacklisted the Chinese tech giant and its 70 affiliates, The Financial Times reported, citing Dang Wenshuan, the company’s chief strategy architect.
At the time of the announcement, a workshop, which was underway, was quickly disbanded, and US delegates were told to remove their laptops, isolate their networks and leave the company’s premises.
According to the media outlet, quoting Dang, the tech mammoth is also restricting contacts more broadly between employees and American citizens.
The embattled company is said to be checking that overseas visitors to its campus do not hold American passports and warning those who do that their private conversations cannot touch on topics related to technology.
“We don’t know what will happen… We don’t know the boundary of the law, we have to be whiter than white”, he told The Financial Times.
Earlier, Huawei’s Chief Legal Officer Song Liuping during a news conference slammed the US, saying that Washington was using cyber security as a pretext to achieve other goals since they had failed to provide evidence for claims that the company is a security threat.
“Politicians in the US are using the strength of an entire nation to come after a private company. The US government has provided no evidence to show that Huawei is a security threat. There is no gun, no smoke. Only speculation. We believe that US politicians are using cyber security as an excuse to gain public support for actions that are designed to achieve other goals. These actions will do nothing to make networks more secure. They provide a false sense of security, and distract attention from the real challenges we face”, he said.
Song continued by stressing that the US move could have a direct impact on more than 1,200 American companies and would “affect tens of thousands of American jobs”.
The statements follow Huawei’s lawsuit in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas to fight the National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA), signed by US President Donald Trump two weeks ago.
As a result, Google had to suspend operations with Huawei, including the transfer of all hardware, software, and technical services, except those publicly available via open source licensing.
Huawei phones, which run on Google’s Android operating system, are also expected to lose access to updates to certain apps, but the existing devices will be safe from future restrictions. Shortly thereafter, Huawei was given a 90-day reprieve from the ban.
Over the past few months, the telecommunications giant has faced accusations of spying through its devices and stealing commercial information on behalf of Chinese authorities. Huawei, as well as Beijing, have flatly denied the allegations and protested Washington’s attempts to limit the company’s business.