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ITWeb Africa

Thursday, Nov 14th

Huawei sends Wall Street Journal letter of legal demand

Huawei sends Wall Street Journal letter of legal demand

Chinese multinational ICT and telecommunications firm Huawei has sent a legal letter of demand to the Wall Street Journal over the publication's coverage of Huawei's alleged involvement with government cybersecurity forces in Uganda, Zambia and Algeria.

Last week Huawei vehemently rejected claims made in an investigative report published by the Wall Street Journal that Huawei technicians assisted the governments of Uganda and Zambia to spy on rivals.

While the report noted that there was no evidence that Huawei executives in China were aware of or sanctioned the alleged espionage activities of its employees in these countries, the article, published online on 14 August 2019, alleges that Huawei employees assisted law enforcement officials in Uganda, who were reportedly under orders to "intercept encrypted communications", to use spyware to infiltrate social media communication of musician and opposition member of the country's parliament, Bobi Wine.

The publication quoted senior security officials in Zambia as saying Huawei technicians helped government to access communication lines and social media sites of opposition bloggers.

On 16 August Huawei sent legal correspondence to the Wall Street Journal which stated:

"We represent Huawei with regard to the Wall Street Journal's August 14, 2019 article describing Huawei's alleged involvement with government cybersecurity forces in Uganda and Zambia (the "Article"). The Article is neither a fair nor a responsible representation of Huawei's legitimate business activities in these countries. Huawei is especially disappointed in the Article and video and radio podcast in light of the information Huawei provided to you during your research for this Article, including its email communications from June 19."

"Those email communications included specific information that a number of the statements in the Article about Huawei's alleged involvement with government cybersecurity forces were demonstrably false. Huawei obviously does not know the identity of your alleged anonymous sources, but it is clear that they provided you with false and misleading information. Based on Huawei's June 19 email and other information it provided to you, it is reasonable to conclude that you knew that these sources were not reliable. As a result, and at a minimum, the Journal published these false statements in reckless disregard of their veracity."

The company added that it takes what it described as "these false and defamatory statements about its business" seriously and stated: "The publication of these false statements has and will continue to damage Huawei's reputation and business interests across the globe. Huawei reserves all rights and claims in this regard and will defend its conduct and reputation. We would be happy to discuss with you related to this matter."


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