Huawei criticized at home over ex-employee’s incarceration

Huawei Technologies Ltd. is the No. 2 global smartphone brand and the biggest maker of network gear for phone carriers. (File/AFP)
Updated 04 December 2019

Huawei criticized at home over ex-employee’s incarceration

  • Internet users and even the state media have called the company hypocritical for having an employee arrested on what turned out to be spurious allegations
  • Huawei responded to the allegations by Li Hongyuan, who was released without charge, by saying it had the “right and the duty” to report suspected illegal behavior

BEIJING: Chinese tech-giant Huawei’s reputation has been repeatedly attacked by the United States and others over allegations of Communist Party control.

Now its vaunted status at home has taken a blow over an ex-employee’s report that he was thrown in jail for eight months on extortion charges after attempting to negotiate a severance package.

Internet users and even the state media have called the company hypocritical for having an employee arrested on what turned out to be spurious allegations, while enjoying the backing of the Chinese people and their government and taking up the mantle of national champion.

Huawei responded to the allegations by Li Hongyuan, who was released without charge, by saying it had the “right and the duty” to report suspected illegal behavior, but that it supported Li’s right to seek legal recourse, including by suing the company.

Among the critics of that response was Hu Xijin, the outspoken editorial of the Communist Party tabloid Global Times, who said Huawei’s treating the incident as purely a legal affair and its refusal to apologize ignored the need to respond to public sentiment.

“I cannot but say that Huawei has this time lost ‘affection,’” Xi, known for his hard-line defenses of Chinese policies and institutions, wrote Tuesday on his official Microblog.

The Paper, an online news outlet owned by the Shanghai City government, said Huawei had trampled on “a citizen’s dignity and personal freedom.”

“You sue! That about sums up the feelings of the public who have waited a whole day for a response from Huawei to the Li Hongyuan case with no apology or explanation, no wiliness to explain, but just sheer condescension,” the paper wrote.

Huawei Technologies Ltd. is the No. 2 global smartphone brand and the biggest maker of network gear for phone carriers.

US authorities say the company is a security risk, which Huawei denies, and announced curbs in May on its access to American components and technology. Washington has pushed allies around the world to also shun the company, with only partial success.


Social media reveals how people feel about reopening UAE

Updated 02 July 2020

Social media reveals how people feel about reopening UAE

  • Posts by official bodies such as the Abu Dhabi and Dubai media offices gained high amounts of traction and were widely shared
  • The influence of the media was likewise high in terms of distributing news and updates

DUBAI: The easing of COVID-19 restrictions across the UAE has by and large been welcomed by the public despite lingering concerns about safety, analysis of social media posts in relation to official announcements shows. 
The study, conducted by analytics and technology consultancy Anavizio, captured 8,000 social media posts from May 24 to June 21, including updates by local and federal UAE authorities as well as the media, along with social media users’ reaction to these.
Detailed analysis of a random sample of user posts and comments show 22 percent expressing happiness about the initial reopening of businesses, restaurants, beaches and hotels in late May and early June.


However, 15 percent of users questioned whether the easing of restrictions was coming too early, while 10 percent expressed concerns about the resumption of specific activities such as the reopening of gyms.
Public attitudes evolved during the four weeks covered by the study, with 17 percent of users expressing increased confidence in visiting beaches and restaurants during the latter part of the research period. Nevertheless, concerns remained around public safety and the state of the economy.
Posts by official bodies such as the Abu Dhabi and Dubai media offices gained high amounts of traction and were widely shared, while Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammad bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, crown prince of Dubai and chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, proved to be a major voice amplifying government messages. The influence of the media was likewise high in terms of distributing news and updates.