Justice. Huawei raided in France on suspicion of breaches of integrity

Justice.  Huawei raided in France on suspicion of breaches of integrity

The offices of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei were raided on Tuesday in France in a procedure relating to suspicions of breaches of probity, a judicial source said on Thursday. Confirming an online media article The Informethis source specified that this preliminary investigation was carried out by magistrates from the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF).

It was not immediately possible to have more details on the facts alleged against the company, whose French headquarters is located in Boulogne-Billancourt (Hauts-de-Seine), a few steps from the Paris ring road. Violations of integrity include offenses such as corruption, influence peddling or illegal taking of interests.

Investigation opened in Nanterre

Challenges announced in April 2022 that after a report in January 2021 from the French Anti-Corruption Agency (AFA) on possible abuse of corporate assets and tax evasion, a preliminary investigation had been opened in Nanterre on Huawei, entrusted to the Brigade financial institution of Paris. But the judicial source indicated on Thursday that it was “not an investigation emanating from Nanterre following a report from the AFA”.

Arriving in France in 2003, where the Chinese group opened six research centers and a global design center in Paris, Huawei is currently building a factory in Alsace, its first outside China, with the aim of starting there “end of 2025” its production of equipment for mobile telecom networks, particularly 5G.

20% market share

The company claims a 20% share of the French telecoms infrastructure market, despite the strong restrictions resulting from the so-called “anti-Huawei” law of 2019, aimed at protecting French networks from “risks of espionage, hacking and sabotage” enabled by 5G.

Founded in 1987, Huawei, a privately held, unlisted company, claims to employ more than 200,000 people in more than 170 countries and regions. The group based in the metropolis of Shenzhen (southern China) has for several years been at the center of an intense technological rivalry between Beijing and Washington.

Spying

The United States, without providing evidence, accuses the company of being able to spy for the benefit of the Chinese authorities, which Huawei strongly contests.

The brand also remains the world’s leading equipment manufacturer for 5G, the fifth generation of mobile internet. In June, the European Commission assessed that Chinese suppliers of telecom equipment, including Huawei, represented a risk to the security of the European Union. The European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, called on the 27 EU member countries and telecom operators to exclude this equipment from their mobile networks.



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