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Business News/ News / Huawei’s French Offices Searched by Financial Prosecutors
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Huawei’s French Offices Searched by Financial Prosecutors

Chinese wireless equipment maker Huawei said its office in France was searched as part of a preliminary investigation by French financial prosecutors.

Huawei’s French Offices Searched by Financial ProsecutorsPremium
Huawei’s French Offices Searched by Financial Prosecutors

(Bloomberg) -- Chinese wireless equipment maker Huawei said its office in France was searched as part of a preliminary investigation by French financial prosecutors. 

The probe is into suspicions of “atteinte à la probité," a justice ministry official said on Thursday, referring to a catch-all term that could include corruption, misuse of public funds or influence peddling, among other infractions. He declined to provide any further details on the alleged actions.

Huawei France, which is based near Paris, said in an emailed statement that the search occurred on Tuesday at its office. It added that it had cooperated fully with the investigations and would continue to do so. 

“Huawei has been in France for over 20 years, and has been in compliance with all the French laws and regulations," the company said in the statement. “While Huawei France does not wish to comment on an ongoing investigation, the company remains confident about its conclusions."

French news website l’Informe first reported the probe.

Huawei has research centers in France and is currently building its first production factory outside of China in a town near Strasbourg. In December, Huawei France’s co-head Minggang Zhang told radio station France Inter that the factory, which will produce telecommunications equipment for European markets, is scheduled to open at the end of 2025 and should employ 500 people in the long run. 

Still, a decision by France to keep the company out of some integral parts of its wireless infrastructure, which prompted operators to begin to remove equipment in cities, has weighed on Huawei’s revenue in the country.

Read More: France’s Huawei Ban Begins to Kick In With Purge in Urban Areas

Filings by Huawei Technologies France show that the unit’s revenue in the country declined to €992 million ($1.1 billion) in 2022, the most recent year available, from €1.4 billion in 2019. 

Huawei is still working with French mobile phone carriers, SFR, a unit of Altice France, and Bouygues to deploy their 5G networks, Zhang said in December. 

--With assistance from Tara Patel.

(Adds Huawei comment from third paragraph.)

More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

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Published: 09 Feb 2024, 12:50 AM IST
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