Huawei-Symantec alliance dissolves under US govt heat
Huawei's woes have continued today with news that giant US security software company Symantec is dismantling a joint venture between the two companies.
According to a New York Times report, Symantec fears its alliance with the Chinese company would prevent it from obtaining United States government classified information about cyberthreats.
The joint venture was formed around four years ago.
The Times says Symantec will announce the sale of its stake to Huawei, for $US530 million, within the next two weeks.
The paper says:
People with knowledge of the venture, who would speak only on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak, said Huawei had already laid off several workers in Huawei Symantec’s Silicon Valley offices this month and planned to move its entire operation out of the United States, largely because of increased American government oversight.
Huawei has previously run into political flack in the US in 2008, when Congress blocked its $US2.6 billion attempt to buy networking company 3Com (ultimately sold to HP), and in 2010 when lawmakers derailed a Huawei attempt to sell telecommunications gear to Sprint.
Sprint and 2degrees' majority shareholder, Seattle-based Trilogy, both have stakes in Clearwire, which is building a 4G network across the US. In New Zealand, Huawei is 2degrees main network partner. The Chinese company has also supplied 2degrees with a $100 million credit line to bankroll expansion.
Over the weekend, it was revealed that the Australian government banned Huawei from bidding on tenders related to the $A36 billion National Broadband Network after security agency fears were raised over cyberattacks originating in China.
Today came news that the Australian government is also investigating a proposed Huawei Marine cable between Perth and Singapore.
On this side of the Tasman, Labour and the Greens have accused the government of turning a blind eye to the Huawei investigation in Australia, and the questions it raises about the Chinese company's involvement in the $1.35 billion Ultrafast Broadband (UFB) project here.