Chinese telecom giant, Huawei is currently embroiled in a major hacking and forgery scandal in South Sudan, a situation that may further affect how governments in Africa relates with the company.
In a letter dated October 10, 2014 and addressed to South Sudan’s Minister of Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin,? the country’s Minister of Information and Broadcasting,? Michael Makuei Lueth accused? Huawei of hacking into government? e-mails and forging government documents.
The Information Minister wrote: Recently we have discovered a serious case that one of Chinese Private Company, Huawei has committed. Huawei attempted to send forged document to Hon Li Ruogu, the President of the Export- Import Bank of China on my behalf. We are shocked? by this Chinese private company unbecoming behavior, which tantamount to forgery. Huawei wanted to create confusion between our government? and the Chinese. I suspect that Huawei has been hacking many Government officials e-mail and falsifying and forging documents on behalf of the senior government officials,” Lueth further alleged.
The minister alleged that on October 3rd, Huawei’s Sullivan Chen sent an email to Acting Director General of Information, Paul Jacob Kumbo in hopes of getting a letter printed on official ministry letter-head, signed, and stamped so he could send it to China.
The purpose of the letter was the postponement of the funding of the Digital Migration TV project, Lueth? alleged.
A close rival of Huwaei is believed to have been given the nod to execute the TV Digital Migration project.
Lueth said he summoned Huawei’s Acting Managing Director and senior staff to explain the matter but none of them showed up.
Meanwhile, in reaction to the Information Minister’s letter, the South Sudan government has launched an investigation into the allegations.
Lueth had recommended that a serious action should be launched against Huawei in order to? ascertain? these dirty? and malicious acts of the company.
“Mr. Sullivan? Chen should be investigated and if found guilty, deported from South Sudan back to China. Chinese Embassy should be informed about the criminal and harmful deeds of Huawei against the Republic of South Sudan and its people,” he said.
In addition, the Acting Director General of the Ministry of? Information and Broadcasting, Paul Jacob Kumbo also alleged that the account of the Minister was hacked but that the attempted forgery emanated? from a business rivalry between two Chinese firms.
“The Minister did not write any letter. This is just forgery and an extension of the fight between? the two companies. We are told one of the junior staff of Huwaei company is suspected in this. I met the company including its Managing Director, who denied any knowledge of the letter,” Kumbo added.
Last year, a former United States Central Intelligence Agency boss, Mr. Micheal Hayden accused the company of spying on US. Its reputation was also called to question in a $1m bribery scandal involving the chairman of Belgian telecom operator, Belgacom, Mr Micheal Moss.
Huawei with its headquarters in Shenzen Guadong, China? is one of the major players in Nigeria’s telecoms industry.
The company has recently expanded its operations in Nigeria to include? security solutions and handsets products.