Huawei says it is fully co-operating, after its French offices were searched last week as part of probe by financial prosecutors
Shenzhen, China-based Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd has confirmed that its offices in France were searched by officials last week, amid a financial investigation.
CNN reported that the Chinese tech giant had confirmed the office raid, and said it was fully co-operating with the French authorities.
Huawei French offices were reportedly raided by investigators from the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office, on Tuesday 6 February.
A French judicial source told CNN last week that the raid had been carried out as part of a preliminary probe launched by the financial prosecutor’s office over alleged “breach of probity,” a broad term concerning alleged offences such as acts of corruption, favouritism and influence peddling.
The source did not provide any further details about the investigation.
And a preliminary investigation does not imply any wrongdoing, CNN noted.
“Huawei has been in France for over 20 years, and has been in compliance with the laws and regulations applicable in the country,” a Huawei spokesperson told CNN.
“While Huawei France does not wish to comment on an ongoing investigation, the company remains confident about its conclusions,” the spokesperson reportedly said.
In 2020 the French government told telecoms providers they would not be able to renew licences for Huawei 5G equipment once they expire, effectively banning the equipment.
But after meeting with French economy minister Bruno Le Maire in Beijing in July of that year, China’s vice-premier He Lifeng said France would extend Huawei 5G licences in some cities.
Also in 2020 Huawei said it would build a factory in France making wireless communications equipment, with a €200 million ($215 million) investment. It said the French factory would manufacture €1 billion ($1.08 billion) worth of products annually.
In December 2023 Huawei began construction of the delayed €200 million (£172m) plant in the Alsace region of France – its first overseas factory.
Huawei has said the plant intends to begin manufacturing 5G equipment in 2025.