A recent research paper examining Huawei’s ownership structure published Monday refutes the company’s claim of being wholly owned by employees and says that the identity of the actual owners is unknown, and may potentially include the Chinese government.

Authored by Donald Clarke of George Washington University and Christopher Balding of Fulbright University Vietnam, the report states that Huawei is wholly owned by a holding company, of which 99% is held by an entity called a “trade union committee.” The trade union committee, the authors said, if it is run as a typical such organization in China, could mean that the telecom equipment giant is owned and controlled by the government.

Trade union decision-makers in China are not selected by or accountable to the employees, according to the report which was published on research platform Social Science Research Network (SSRN). On the contrary, they owe their loyalty to superior trade union organizations, all the way up to the All-China Federation of Trade Unions, which is controlled by the Communist Party, whose head belongs to the Politburo, the highest policy-making entity in China’s Communist Party.

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Wei Sheng

Wei Sheng is a Beijing-based reporter covering hardware, smartphone, and telecommunications, along with regulations and policies related to the China tech scene. Before joining TechNode, he wrote about...