Huawei Had a Deal to Give Washington Redskins Fans Free Wi-Fi, Until the Government Stepped In – Wall Street Journal

What happened: A 2014 deal between Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei and US football team the Washington Redskins to provide Wi-Fi in viewing suits at FedEx Field came undone after a government advisor issued an “unofficial federal complaint” to the team, citing national security concerns. Huawei would have received advertising in the stadium and during broadcasts in exchange for the Wi-Fi services. However, the football team walked away from the agreement as a result of the complaint.

Why it’s important: The deal came years before the arrest of Huawei’s CFO and moves to block the company’s equipment from 5G networks around the world. However, the complaint highlighted the same concerns congress members and US intelligence agencies have raised for a number of years—the company’s alleged close links to the Chinese government. Despite the US, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand moving to limit Huawei’s equipment in their 5G networks, the company shipped a record-breaking 200 million smartphones in 2018.

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Chris Udemans

Christopher Udemans is a Shanghai-based data and graphics reporter. He covers Chinese artificial intelligence, mobility, and cybersecurity. You can contact him at chrisudemans [at] technode [dot] com.