American company claims Huawei forced to build backdoor

An American company that has set up a surveillance system in a Pakistani city claims that supplier Huawei forced the company to allow Huawei to extract data from the system and place it on a server in China. Huawei denies the allegations.

The American Business Efficiency Solutions LLC says in a lawsuit before a US judge that Huawei forced to transfer data from a system for a city in Pakistan, Lahore, to a server in China. BES asked Huawei to request permission from the authorities in Pakistan and Huawei first said it was not necessary, followed by a guarantee that permission had been given, writes The Wall Street Journal.

Huawei had threatened to stop payments and cancel contracts if the server in China was not set up. Under that pressure, BES would have built the feature. That would have happened in 2017. With a server in China, Huawei would be able to access the data of citizens of Lahore without the knowledge of Pakistani authorities. Huawei denies the allegations and says the server in China is only for testing the system, without data from real people.

BES, which currently has no more sales, calls itself a company specializing in cloud environments and mentions ‘safe cities’ as a product on its own site. Huawei has been supplying networking and surveillance equipment for years, something Huawei often refers to as “smart cities.” Huawei hired BES in 2016 to get the award for a safe-city project in Lahore. The two sides then got into a legal battle. BES also claims that Huawei stole its technology.