Microsoft – which has been facing a series of masssive hacks from the Chinese Communist Party – partnered with the tech firm Honor, a company recently spun off from the Chinese military-linked firm Huawei.
Microsoft is providing Honor’s laptops, such as the MagicBook Pro, with its Windows 10 operating system. The December 2020 partnership was announced just one month after Honor was spun-off of Huawei, a Chinese Communist Party-linked telecommunications company heavily sanctioned by the Trump administration.
Labeled a “national security threat” and Chinese military collaborator by the U.S. Department of Defense, Huawei routinely provides the Chinese Communist Party backdoor access to its products, networks and devices. The U.S. State Department also notes Huawei is used as an “instrument not only for making money but also for pursuing the Party-State’s agenda and fulfilling its strategic objectives […] deeply enmeshed in Beijing’s system of oppression at home and its increasingly assertive strategic ambitions globally.”
And Honor still retains links to the Chinese Communist Party, as the Shenzhen city government was one of several involved in the consortium that purchased Honor for over $15 billion. What’s more, the primary purchaser, Digital China, retains ties to Huawei through its partnerships with programs such as cloud computing.
Therefore, Microsoft is skirting restrictions on U.S. tech companies from collaborating with the Chinese Communist Party by working with Honor, which retains comparable ties to the Chinese government.
Honor CEO Zhao Ming was “happy” with the deal, noting it “will see us team up with Microsoft worldwide,” and Xiang Ligang, Director of the Information Consumption Alliance, noted that Microsoft’s decision to partner with Honor will likely catalyze more American companies working alongside the company.
“With one US company partnering with Honor, more US companies are likely to be on board in the near future, which can better solve Honor’s supply chain issues,” he emphasized.