Australia’s domestic spy agency is reportedly investigating claims that Huawei has direct links to the Chinese military and government.
The Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO) is reportedly probing allegations that the Chinese nationals working for the vendor in Australia have close ties to the PLA and the Chinese government, the Australian newspaper said.
These employees are allegedly have been summoned to frequent meetings with Chinese officials at embassies across Australia.
ASIO is also reportedly investigating claims that Huawei recently fired dozens of its Australian-born workforce, replacing them with Chinese nationals, and that the company employs a security controller whose full-time job is to monitor the emails and other company communications.
The claims came from anonymous Australian Huawei employees, who approached ASIO directly.
A Huawei a spokesperson told the Australian the claims were “inaccurate and ungrounded.”
According to Huawei, around 30% of its Australian workforce were Chinese expatriates, a percentage which hasn't significantly changed despite a recent restructuring. The company met with ASIO in June for a routine debriefing.
Huawei, which was co-founded by CEO Ren Zhengfei and other ex-PLA officers in 1987, is China’s largest communications vendor and the world’s third largest mobile network supplier.