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EXCLUSIVE: Zoom Employs Chinese Communist Party, Huawei Techies

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Zoom – the widely-used video conferencing platform long-suspected to have ties to the Chinese Communist Party – employs a host of individuals linked to the Chinese government, including former officials and employees of military-linked companies, The National Pulse can reveal.

Wenjie Gu – Zoom’s China Representative for Head of Regulatory and Government Affairs – served as a Chinese Communist Party official within the Ministry of Posts and Telecom. He served as a manager for China Telecom, identified as collaborating with the Chinese military for over two decades by the U.S. Defense Department, spearheading “international tariff settlement, telco and association affairs, and other external affairs.”

“His deep background in government, Chinese SOE teleco carriers, and now over 10 years experience working for foreign industry brings him tremendous insight and knowledge,” reads one of his LinkedIn recommendations.

National Security Threats.

At least three individuals can be identified as former employees at Huawei, a controversial Chinese telecoms company labeled by the U.S. State Department as an “arm of the state – or, more precisely, the Chinese Communist Party.”

Labeled a “national security threat” by the Trump administration and a 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 noted the Chinese Communist Party uses Huawei 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.”

Despite these fears, Xueke Li, a Zoom Senior Software Engineer, formerly worked at Huawei for over three years as a Staff Software Engineer.

Hong Deng, another Zoom Senior Software Engineer, worked at Huawei for nearly a decade as a Software Engineer. And Jennifer Liu, a Technical Project Manager, worked at Huawei for two years as a business operations analyst.

Alibaba.

Hanqing Zhao, a Senior Software Engineer for Zoom, held the same position at Alibaba, a company with extensive ties to the Chinese Communist Party through their founder Jack Ma. Ma, a member of the Chinese Communist Party, insisted he was “in love with them,” and in 2015, Forbes reported the “Chinese Government Has A Huge “Stake” In Alibaba.”

The New York Times similarly unearthed the company’s “deep political connections of the investment firms, Boyu Capital, Citic Capital Holdings and CDB Capital, the China Development Bank’s private investment arm” and noted Alibaba’s “senior executive ranks included sons or grandsons of the most powerful members of the ruling Communist Party.”

And Gordon Zhang, Zoom’s Senior Software Engineer, lists himself on LinkedIn as “working as Engineer for government finance system development” in Hangzhou, China.

These unearthed connections follow the U.S. Department of Justice issuing an arrest warrant for a China-based Zoom executive censoring content and removing users participating in meetings at the request of the Chinese Communist Party.

The filing also revealed that Zoom frequently liaises “with PRC law enforcement and intelligence services” and “responded to requests from the PRC government for information and to terminate video meetings.”


Natalie Winters

Natalie Winters is an Investigative Reporter at the National Pulse and contributor to The National Pulse podcast.