Huawei Technologies Co. is suing critics in France who alleged it has ties to the Chinese state.
In an unprecedented move, the technology giant filed three defamation claims in Paris over comments made during television programs by a French researcher, a broadcast journalist and a telecommunications sector expert.
Valerie Niquet, a researcher at the Paris-based Foundation for Strategic Research that specializes in China and Japan, is a regular guest on French radio and television. Huawei filed the lawsuit after her comments in two television programs in February in which she said the company had ties to the state.
Niquet was informed of the claims in September and then in November when the police reached out to her to confirm her comments, according to copies of the authorities’ emails seen by Bloomberg.
This is the first case that Think Tank Watch is aware of where a think tanker has been sued by a corporation for commentary.
A think tank teamed up with a scholar recently found that around 100 Huawei employees had education or work experience linked to Chinese military or intelligence agencies.
Last year, it was reported that Huawei paid the Brookings Institution to write favorable reports.