12/07/2018

The Education Of Huawei

Editorial Board, The Wall Street Journal

Another day, another China drama in world markets. Thursday’s jolt was news that Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Vancouver at the request of U.S. officials for allegedly violating Iran sanctions. The press corps is focusing on the arrest’s timing amid new trade talks. But the arrest is best understood as an attempt to get Beijing to stop abusing global trade norms.

Huawei is the world’s largest telecom equipment manufacturer and second biggest supplier of handsets. Ms. Meng is the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei and has helped to steer its colossal growth. Her arrest occurs amid heightened worries about the Chinese telecom giant’s cyber threat.

The concerns go back at least to 2012 when the House Intelligence Committee warned that Huawei and its smaller competitor ZTE were violating U.S. laws and could be used for spying and theft. Huawei “likely remains dependent on the Chinese government for support” and the Chinese Communist Party maintains a “Party Committee within the company,” said the committee report that also implied Huawei wasn’t complying with Iran sanctions. [Subscription.]

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