Huawei has been receiving funding from branches of state security apparatus, the CIA has told spy chiefs, The Times revealed after months of speculation over the Chinese telecommunications giant's relationship with the Chinese state.
"American intelligence shown to Britain says that Huawei has taken money from the People's Liberation Army, China's National Security Commission and a third branch of the Chinese state intelligence network," The Times report read. The publication added that evidence of collusion has been shared with global leaders but not openly published.
Huawei has been attempting to establish 5G networks in a number of countries while the US has been encouraging its allies to ban the firm from using its technology to set up 5G networks, citing concerns that the company could be colluding with the Chinese state to commit espionage. As a result, Australia, New Zealand and Japan have issued formal bans on Huawei as a wireless network provider within their jurisdictions, while the UK has been debating whether or not to follow suit. Germany has also pressured the firm to guarantee it will keep personal data safe in order to maintain operations in the country.
Responding to the US government's claims and its decision to ban federal agencies from using its equipment, Huawei has begun preparing a law suit against the US government.
However, the recent revelation adds weight to the US government's claim that the company is adhering to China's 2017 National Intelligence Law which states that Chinese organizations must "support, cooperate with and collaborate in national intelligence work".
This is something that Huawei has fiercely denied. Earlier this year, Ren Zhengfei, founder of Huawei, told the BBC that "there's no way the US can crush" it, adding that "even if they persuade more countries not to use us temporarily, we can always scale things down a bit".