Should You Boycott Huawei Smartphones?

Amid growing tensions, Chinese smartphone company, Huawei, faces a whole litany of new charges. A growing list of scandals threaten to curb the growth of the world’s second largest smartphone manufacturer, who, in recent years, have seemed virtually unstoppable in their quest for global market domination.  In the latest of a long string of charges, Huawei are now accused of working with the Chines military to steal American technology, defraud US institutions and spy on citizens using their very own devices.

Meng Wanzhou, the CFO of Huawei, the company and its subsidiaries now face criminal charges for bank fraud, wire theft, violating sanctions against Iran and conspiring to obstruct justice. While the company has already denied the charges, there is growing international concern regarding the company’s expansion. Most recently, the US justice department have accused Huawei affiliates of stealing trade secrets. In 2012, they allegedly violated agreements with T-Mobile and secretly took photos of its Tappy robot technology, and stole a piece so Huawei engineers could reverse engineer it.

There is nothing new about accusations levelled against the company. International intelligence services have long linked Huawei (along with other Chinese companies) to the Chinese intelligence service. The US is not the only country turning its back on the company. A number of countries throughout Europe have abandoned plans to work with Huawei and in Australia, TPG Telecom have abandoned their plans which relied on Huawei technology. As time goes on, more and more dark secrets seem to be coming to light.

To add to the litany of charges are a slew of other unproven allegations, such as that the company provided surveillance equipment to the Taliban, or were involved in the supposed ‘suicide’ of an American engineer working on a device with military implications in Singapore in 2012.

Huawei, and China, continue to respond with denials and threats and the whole situation threatens to weaken already damaged trade relations around the world.

So, the question for smartphone buyers is – should you choose to buy a Huawei phone? Or should you boycott the company? Ultimately, we as consumers do have a lot of power to enable or halt the ever growing dominance of the company. The choice is ours.

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