Now it has emerged that things may have been somewhat different all along. Documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden reveal that it was the NSA doing the spying, not a couple of Chinese tech companies. The NSA allegedly monitored communications of top Huawei executives in an attempt to prove their suspicions. However, it appears that it found no evidence of ties between Huawei execs with Chinese intelligence and military officials, Der Spiegel reports.
Huawei condemned the snooping, saying that it is tantamount to theft of confidential product information. The NSA did not comment but in the past it made it perfectly clear that it does not pass on information to US companies in order to improve their competitiveness. Last year the NSA accused Huawei of downright spying for Beijing. Former NSA chief Michael Hayden even said the company provided the Chinese government with extensive knowledge of foreign telecommunications systems, which doesn't exactly sound surprising - after all it is what they do.
It is essentially a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Who knows, perhaps the NSA was looking for spyware and suspicious hardware in Huawei products because it could piggyback it for its own snooping?