Huawei Technologies Ltd. is suing a French commentator who made false statements that it says has ties to the Chinese government,media reported. In an unprecedented move, the tech giant has filed three defamation lawsuits in Paris against French researchers, broadcast journalists and telecomindustry industry experts who comment on television shows.
The online investigative newsletter La Lettre A’s report on Tuesday published the company’s legal action in France. Huawei confirmed the claim, saying it had filed a lawsuit with French law enforcement in March.
The document comes as the telecoms equipment maker tries to bid for a future 5G network in Europe’s second-largest economy and in countries such as Germany. “The claim that Huawei used its technical expertise in telecommunications networks to monitor the Western world is false,” Huawei said in a statement. “
Still, Kay Bailey Hutchison, the US permanent representative to NATO, reiterated this week the words of some commentators who said at the Paris conference that Huawei would “have to hand over” the data “at the request” of the government. Huawei is taking legal action because U.S. and European national security agencies have expressed concern about the potential risks of using the company’s devices and offered advice on how to mitigate them.
The Chinese company has sued the U.S. government for barring its devices from certain networks. Huawei lawyers have urged a federal judge in Texas to rule that a U.S. law prohibits federal agencies and contractors from buying or using the Chinese giant’s equipment.
France has said it will rule out its company’s 5G infrastructure after passing a law this year that restricts access to key parts of its network to devices that have not been censored by its national security services. These include core network equipment, etc.
Valerie Niquet, a researcher at the Paris Foundation for Strategic Studies, a frequent visitor to Radio and Television france, specializes in China and Japan. Huawei sued her in February after she made false comments on two television shows.
According to Bloomberg, Niquet was informed of the request in September and November, when police contacted her to confirm her comments. Niquet said she made the comments on TF1 on February 3 and made similar comments on France 5 on February 7. “No one will support it,” she says. A Soviet company can monitor all communications in the Western world, and that’s what we think Huawei is doing. “
It is unclear whether prosecutors will accept the request and launch a formal investigation. The prosecutor’s office did not immediately respond to inquiries.
“I was surprised that Huawei decided to sue the experts who spoke on the radio and television program,” Niquet said in an interview at a conference in Tokyo, Japan. “