Washington Redskins Free Wi-Fi Deal With Huawei Allegedly Collapsed Over Security Fears
Huawei is a Chinese company that makes smartphones and networking equipment, and has close ties to the Chinese government. A new report has surfaced that claims a deal between Huawei and the Washington Redskins NFL team was axed after a U.S. government complaint.
The deal would have reportedly seen fans at the stadium where the team plays home games get free Wi-Fi. The deal fell through, in 2014, after the NFL team was warned that Huawei posed a cybersecurity threat according to a source familiar with the matter. So far, the U.S. government and its agencies that have been issuing these warnings have offered no concrete proof that Chinese intelligence agencies have infiltrated Huawei phones and networking gear, but that hasn't stopped private companies and mobile carriers from taking the advice and staying away from Huawei.
Instead of Huawei, the deal for Wi-Fi in the stadium went to Verizon and Cisco. Since the U.S. government hasn't provided evidence to support the continued claims that Huawei poses a security threat, some see it as a way to prevent foreign competition in the U.S. Yet, having a Chinese company with ties to the Chinese government operating a wireless network in a public location that U.S. government staff frequent is a reason for concern.
The U.S. government has been actively working to prevent Huawei from getting a foothold inside the U.S. over concerns of security and possible spying by the Chinese government. Last month the U.S. petitioned its allies to reject Huawei devices due to spying concerns. Last summer the government urged Google to disengage with Huawei over similar fears of spying.