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French Prosecutors Raid Huawei Office: What This Means for the Tech Giant’s Future

by Tech Desk
1 minutes read
French Prosecutors Raid Huawei Office: What This Means for the Tech Giant’s Future

Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd, based in Shenzhen, China, has confirmed that its offices in France were searched last week as part of a financial investigation. According to a report by CNN, the Chinese tech giant acknowledged the office raid and stated that it is fully cooperating with French authorities.

The raid on Huawei’s French offices was conducted by investigators from the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday, February 6. A French judicial source told CNN that the raid was carried out as part of a preliminary investigation into an alleged “violation of probity,” which broadly refers to crimes such as corruption, favoritism, and influence peddling. However, it is important to note that a preliminary investigation does not imply any criminal activity.

In response to the investigation, a spokesperson for Huawei stated that the company has been operating in France for over 20 years and has always complied with applicable laws and regulations in the country. The spokesperson further emphasized that while Huawei France does not wish to comment on an ongoing investigation, the company remains confident in its conclusions.

This latest development comes amid ongoing pressure from Western countries regarding national security concerns related to Huawei’s 5G equipment. Despite denying any risk to national security, Huawei’s 5G equipment has faced bans in several European countries and strict export controls from the United States.

In 2020, the French government informed telecom providers that they would not be able to renew licenses for Huawei 5G equipment once they expire, effectively banning the use of this equipment. However, following a meeting between French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire and China’s Vice Premier He Lifeng in Beijing later that year, it was announced that France would expand Huawei’s 5G licenses in some cities.

Additionally, Huawei had announced plans to build a factory in France for manufacturing wireless communications equipment with an investment of 200 million euros ($215 million). In December 2023, construction began on the delayed €200m (£172m) plant in France’s Alsace region – Huawei’s first overseas factory – with intentions to start manufacturing 5G equipment at this facility by 2025.

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As this story continues to unfold, it will be interesting to see how these developments impact both Huawei’s operations in France and its global business endeavors.

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