Cracking Down on Huawei: French Financial Prosecutors Raid Chinese Telecoms Giant’s Offices
The French offices of Chinese tech giant Huawei were searched this week, the company confirmed Friday, saying it was fully cooperating with the authorities.
A French judicial source told CNN Thursday that the raid had been carried out as part of a preliminary probe launched by the financial prosecutor’s office over alleged “breach of probity,” a broad term concerning offenses such as acts of corruption, favoritism and influence peddling.
The source did not provide any further details about the investigation. A preliminary investigation does not imply any wrongdoing.
The Shenzhen-based firm told CNN that the search had taken place Tuesday.
“Huawei has been in France for over 20 years, and has been in compliance with the laws and regulations applicable in the country. While Huawei France does not wish to comment on an ongoing investigation, the company remains confident about its conclusions,” a spokesperson said.
In 2020, the company announced that it would build a factory in France making wireless communications equipment, with a €200 million ($215 million) investment and manufacturing €1 billion ($1.08 billion) worth of products annually. A number of European countries later either banned Huawei from their 5G telecom networks or restricted the company’s role in the networks.
Speaking to French public radio in December, Minggang Zhang, deputy general manager of Huawei France, said the factory would begin operations by the end of 2025 in the Alsace region.
“Every year, we invest some €80 million or more in research in France,” Zhang told radio network France Inter. “France’s tech ecosystem is extremely innovative and dynamic.”
He said the plant would supply the entire European market with 5G equipment and eventually create 500 jobs.