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26 Feb, 2020 09:41

Unnamed White House official compares Huawei to 'the Mafia'

Unnamed White House official compares Huawei to 'the Mafia'

A senior official of the Trump administration has called the Chinese tech giant Huawei an "utterly non-market player" that wants to wipe out competition through dumping, theft and racketeering.

In an interview with CNBC the unnamed official denounced Huawei as "the Mafia," and suggested the company could spy on the British Parliament.

"How do we deal with that when the largest player is in essence the Mafia?" he said. "What do you do? It means there is some kind of a role for government," he added, declining to specify how Washington will respond. "That conversation's still ongoing," said the official.

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The comments come as the Trump administration is working on ways to prevent Huawei's dominance of 5G telecommunications technology. President Trump has repeatedly called the Chinese hardware manufacturer a threat to national security. Huawei has denied allegations that it colludes with the Chinese intelligence.

"That's just crazy. We're one of the largest private enterprise run companies in the world. Our senior management is more akin to the way American executives think and act," said Glenn Schloss, vice president of corporate communications for Huawei, rejecting "the Mafia" comment. "To liken Huawei to organized crime is disingenuous, and a PR stunt. We're operating in 170 countries in the world connecting a third of the world's people. And we operate in a free market structure," he said.

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Schloss added: "We do receive some subsidies R&D funding from the Chinese government, but it's not significant. We also receive subsidies and R&D funding from governments in Europe."

US federal prosecutors announced new charges this month against Huawei and two of its subsidiaries, including allegations of racketeering and plotting to steal trade secrets.

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