The Chinese tech giant Huawei’s French offices were searched this week, according to a statement by the company. The company said it is fully cooperating with the authorities and that the search took place on Tuesday. The raid was carried out as part of a preliminary investigation launched by the financial prosecutor’s office over alleged “breach of probity,” which refers to offenses such as corruption, favoritism, and influence peddling.
A French judicial source confirmed to CNN that the investigation is ongoing but did not provide any further details about it. It is important to note that a preliminary investigation does not imply any wrongdoing. Huawei said it has been in compliance with the laws and regulations applicable in France for over 20 years.
In 2020, Huawei announced plans to build a factory in France to manufacture wireless communications equipment with a €200 million ($215 million) investment and produce €1 billion ($1.08 billion) worth of products annually. However, several European countries either banned or restricted Huawei’s role in their 5G telecom networks due to concerns about national security.
Minggang Zhang, deputy general manager of Huawei France, stated that the factory would begin operations by the end of 2025 in the Alsace region and invest some €80 million or more in research every year. The plant will supply the entire European market with 5G equipment and eventually create 500 jobs.