The long, long arm of Huawei

A new report by Lily Kuo of the Guardian shows just how closely Huawei works with the Chinese state:

Around this time last year, Zeng Meng, 39, was on holiday in Thailand, having dinner with his father. Suddenly he was surrounded by Chinese police. Plainclothes officers stood on each side of him, their hands on his shoulders, while another filmed the scene.

The officers showed their IDs and said they had been dispatched from Shenzhen, the headquarters of Zeng’s former employer Huawei, where he was wanted on suspicion of violating trade secrets. Having no other choice, Zeng went with them, accompanied by four Thai officers. Within a week, he had been extradited to China and formally arrested.

Zeng spent the next three months at the Shenzhen No 2 detention center… He says he was among five former and current Huawei workers detained last December on suspicion of violating trade secrets and other charges. Two have been released without charge, one has pleaded guilty, and another remains in detention. Zeng expects his case to be dropped in March.

He said all five were in a WeChat group of between 50 and 60 current and former employees airing grievances about the company, including allegations that it discriminates against employees over the age of 34. According to another member of the group, two of the five detained had planned to take their stories to the media but were arrested before they were able to.