Several Huawei Technologies employees have collaborated on research projects with Chinese armed forces personnel, indicating closer ties to the country’s military than previously acknowledged by the smartphone and networking powerhouse.
Over the past decade, Huawei workers have teamed with members of various organsiations of the People’s Liberation Army on at least 10 research endeavours spanning artificial intelligence to radio communications. They include a joint effort with the investigative branch of the Central Military Commission — the armed forces’ supreme body — to extract and classify emotions in online video comments, and an initiative with the elite National University of Defense Technology to explore ways of collecting and analysing satellite images and geographical coordinates.
Those projects are just a few of the publicly disclosed studies that shed light on how staff at China’s largest technology company teamed with the People’s Liberation Army on research into an array of potential military and security applications culled the papers from published periodicals and online research databases used mainly by Chinese academics and industry specialists. The authors of the treatises, which haven’t been reported in the media previously, identified themselves as Huawei employees and the firm name was listed at the top of the papers.
“Huawei is not aware of its employees publishing research papers in their individual capacity,” spokesman Glenn Schloss said in a statement. “Huawei does not have any R&D collaboration or partnerships with the PLA-affiliated institutions,” he said. “Huawei only develops and produces communications products that conform to civil standards worldwide, and does not customise R&D products for the military.”