Telecom giant Huawei slams WSJ report alleging Chinese government support

by Editorial Team

Huawei lashed out Thursday at a report detailing how the Chinese government has propped up the telecom giant.

Huawei has become one of the globe’s leading telecom companies thanks in part to $75 billion worth of loans, tax breaks and other Chinese state financial support over the last two decades, according to The Wall Street Journal’s Wednesday exposé.

But Huawei said the story is based on “false information and poor reasoning,” adding that it may take legal action following several “disingenuous” articles in the paper.

“This article speculates wildly about how Huawei has become what it is today,” the company said in a lengthy statement. “… The Wall Street Journal is a professional media outlet, so we have to question its motives and purpose for publishing this article.”

The dustup comes as Huawei looks to build 5G networks around the world despite the US Department of Commerce putting the company on a trade blacklist in May over national security concerns.

Roughly $46 billion of China’s support for Huawei has come from state lenders in the form of credit lines, loans and other help, the Journal reported.

Huawei also got $25 billion in tax breaks between 2008 and 2018 thanks to government programs meant to boost the tech industry, according to the report. The company also reportedly got some $2 billion in land discounts and $1.6 billion in grants.

The Journal said its findings were based on public documents such as company statements and land-registry records. The paper had its work checked by subsidy experts such as Good Jobs First, a US nonprofit that advocates for accountability in economic development.

Huawei did not specify what information in the Journal’s report was false. But the company said it applies for government subsidies just like any other firm and that its outside financing “follows all market rules.”

Huawei also said its total subsidies for research and development from governments inside and outside China over the past decade amounted to less than 0.3 percent of its total revenue.

“Like other tech companies that operate in China, including those from abroad, Huawei receives some policy support from the Chinese government,” the company’s statement said. “But we have never received any additional or special treatment.”

Both The Post and Dow Jones, which publishes The Wall Street Journal, are owned by News Corp.

Dow Jones spokeswoman Colleen Schwartz on Thursday said the Journal “stands by its reporting.”


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