Huawei Employees Who Marry Europeans Face Being Fired for ‘Betrayal’

BERLIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 03: People arrive to attend the Huawei keynote address at the IFA 2020 Special Edition consumer electronics and appliances trade fair on the fair's opening day on September 03, 2020 in Berlin, Germany. The fair is taking place despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, albeit in a …
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Huawei has told its Chinese employees working in Europe that if they marry Westerners, they could face being fired or forced to leave the continent for “betrayal”, an investigation has found.

A Huawei human resources handbook, entitled ‘West European Region Chinese Expatriates Assignment and Mobility Management Regulation’, said that employees who applied for, or were granted, permanent residence in a European country, or married an EU resident, should be instructed to leave the country “as soon as possible”.

The document also went on to state that attempting to settle in Europe represents a breach of “their employment contract and shall resign from the company or its subsidiary”, according to an investigation by The Daily Telegraph alongside European media partners in The Signals Network.

“Those who’ve obtained residency in an EU country or whose spouses are permanent EU residents and those who have voluntarily applied for permanent residency in the EU must leave Europe ASAP. If they don’t follow the order, the company will terminate their employment,” the Huawei document continued.

A former Chinese employee based in Europe said: “The internal atmosphere at the company is that if you marry a local person and get citizenship rights then this is seen as a betrayal.”

The ex-employee said that Huawei attempts to keep its employees working abroad under the thumb of the authoritarian legal codes of the Chinese Communist Party in order to prevent them from releasing confidential information to foreigners.

“The company doesn’t want confidential information to be released. They have some core technology which is highly confidential, so this information might be known about by different staff in different departments and the company don’t want this information to be leaked to external competitors or external governments in the countries where they operate,” he said.

Another former employee, who had been stationed in Europe for two and a half years, was told by his Huawei manager that he could only continue working for the company if he left Europe after it was discovered that he planned to marry a European woman.

“In my opinion, the company try to stop people from using the company as a tool to emigrate to Western Europe, so if they find out you want to settle down in Western Europe they will tell you to leave,” he said.

“It’s my opinion that the reason they don’t want you to marry someone local is to stop you getting local residence and getting legal status in Western Europe.”

Commenting on the investigation, a national security expert at the University of Buckingham, Professor Anthony Glees, said: “These are stipulations that no normal commercial company would make of its employees and that is alarming and disturbing.

“It would seem to me to contradict the market interest of the company which is to sell its kit, not give people the impression that it’s some kind of state agency.”

A spokesman for Huawei claimed that the policy was “no longer valid”, although did not specify when the draconian work restrictions were dropped.

“If any assigned employee elects to personally apply for permanent residence in the local country this is their personal matter,” he said.

The spokesman also claimed that the UK branch of Huawei “has not adopted the policy”.

Huawei has been at the centre of an increasingly tense diplomatic spat between Britain and the communist regime in Beijing after the UK announced that it would be banning all Huawei tech from its telecommunications networks by 2027.

In November, the UK said that wireless carriers would be barred from installing new Huawei equipment in their 5G networks by September of this year.

The move came after concerted pressure from the Trump administration, which warned that intelligence sharing could be compromised with countries that continued to use Huawei tech, which the U.S. claimed has the ability to create “back doors” for the CCP to use for espionage purposes.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here: @KurtZindulka

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