Chinese telecom giant Huawei has plenty of legal issues in North America. CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada in December on suspicion of violating US sanctions against Iran. The US government separately restricts use of Huawei gear for security reasons, and it reportedly has asked other countries to avoid it too.
This week Taiwan added to the protest. The government-supported Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) said in a Chinese-language statement January 15 it would block the Chinese firm’s smartphones and computers from accessing its internal network. ITRI became the first semi-official organisation to answer the US call.
Taiwan and China have a strained relationship already. China sees Taiwan as part of its territory, despite Taiwanese self-rule of some 70 years. Now, according to a local media report, some in Taiwan ask whether the government should ban IT gear not only from Huawei. It could also block also gear from China-based smartphone developers Oppo, Xiaomi, VIVO, and ZTE.
Taiwanese officials have offered no evidence to date of Huawei infringing on the government’s security.
Australia and New Zealand have also barred Huawei equipment from being used in their 5G mobile networks.
Huawei is trying to minimize damage in some spots. It fired an employee in Poland after the person was arrested in Poland on suspicion of spying. Huawei also has issued a statement saying the Poland-based worker’s activity “had no relation with the company.”