US company sues Huawei for 'stealing tech to spy on Pakistan' 

Allegations of purloined trade secrets, unfair competition, national security threats, and more packed into lawsuit

02:31 PM | 13 Aug, 2021
US company sues Huawei for 'stealing tech to spy on Pakistan' 

An American software company Business Efficiency Solutions (BES) has taken Chinese tech giant Huawei to California federal court for allegedly stealing its trade secrets following their project in Pakistan.

BES, a California-based software firm, accused the Chinese tech giant of using its technology to collect sensitive data related to Pakistan’s national security.

According to the BES complaint, Huawei subcontracted with BES in 2016 for its $150 million bid to develop software for a Pakistani government programme providing new technology for police and law enforcement in Lahore. BES said it created software for the project that collects data from government agencies, controls access to buildings, monitors social media and manages drones, among other things.

The complaint accused Huawei of using the software “as a backdoor from China into Lahore to gain access, manipulate, and extract sensitive data important to Pakistan’s national security.”

The complaint said, “The eight software systems BES developed for the project included proprietary code, designs, diagrams and other information that are “valuable trade secrets at the core of BES’s business.” 

The complaint said Huawei has yet to return any of the confidential software design tools or uninstall the software, as BES said it had agreed to.

BES said Huawei later demanded it install its data-aggregation software - used by Pakistani law enforcement to collect and analyze “sensitive data from different sources and government agencies” - in its Chinese lab, “this time not merely for testing purposes but with full access to data at the Lahore Safe City project.” BES said it agreed, under threat of termination and withheld payments, after Huawei said it had approval from the Pakistani government.

BES also said that Huawei never paid for some of its software, and that Huawei is misusing its trade secrets in similar “Safe City” projects in Pakistan and around the world.