Having worked hard to overcome unproven concerns about its business practices, Huawei has become embroiled in fresh controversy after Telekom Austria announced it was investigating bribery allegations. The Chinese company is alleged to have paid bribes amounting to €6 million to secure equipment contracts with Telekom Austria valued at €60 million, according to a report in the Austrian magazine Format.
At the centre of the accusations is Peter Hochegger, who seemingly acted as a consultant to the Austrian telco and received payments through bank accounts based in Cyprus.
Responding to these reports, Huawei has issued a statement to FierceWireless:Europe saying it was aware of the investigations by Austrian authorities, but stressed that its local operation strictly adhered to the laws and commercial codes of conduct in Austria.
The statement continued: "More importantly, Huawei strictly follows corporate regulations, and observes all of the laws and regulations of the countries where we operate. We have a sound corporate governance structure in place throughout our operations and we require our staff to follow strict business conduct guidelines."
For its part, Telekom Austria has stated that its management board wishes to distance itself "fiercely" from these allegations, which fell under the responsibility of the previous management. Telekom Austria's statement also said: "In the event that these allegations prove to be true, the Telekom Austria Group will take appropriate action against the supplier Huawei and any further persons or companies involved."
The former CEO of Huawei Austria has been reassigned to manage the company's business in Serbia, and was unavailable when contacted by Format.
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