That's certainly the allegation. And I suppose it wouldn't be completely bizarre, despite Huawei having (at least nominally) less close ties with the Chinese government. I wrote recently about how poorly the ZTE regulatory process was handled, but Huawei seems to be going a different direction.
For example: the Chinese ambassador to Canada wrote in an Ottawa-based newspaper's Op-Ed section that arresting the CFO and Chair of the Board on charges of fraud, as well as breaching sanctions against Iran, was "white supremacy". I think it's fair to say they totally lost their minds over this. But, amidst the insane diplomatic pressures to make a special exception, the Canadian ambassador to China folded only a microscopic amount, saying he wished the US didn't ask for the arrest. He didn't say they weren't going to extradite, just that, it's the US's request, and it's jamming them up.
The dude got fired later that same day. This is law enforcement we're talking about. You don't wish you weren't arresting someone (if you're pretty sure they committed a crime) because it's causing a ruckus. It's their duty to uphold the laws of Canada, and in this case, that means helping to enforce sanctions against Iran. He deserved to get fired, despite the fact that he was speaking the truth, because you can't pass the buck like that unless you don't want any international law at all. And Trudeau (correctly) decided that his subordinate doesn't make calls like that.
Everything's going pretty much to plan with the Huawei process – which means it's taking a long time. They're in court, and I'm curious to see the outcome. I do own a Huawei phone, for what it's worth, so I've got a personal interest in the claim their devices are spying equipment for the Chinese government.
But I suspect they aren't – at least, not in the simplest way. I mean, don't get me wrong, it is a Chinese company, and they must comply with all legal requests from the Chinese government. There aren't a whole lot of reasons to think the government couldn't ask them to install backdoors. So maybe that's been done. But those legal requirements aren't really the fault of Huawei, or the board. The fact that this is proceeding to trial is interesting (although the issues in the case seems to focus mostly on sanctions violations). I would strongly prefer the US governments allegations to be demonstrated publicly, even if you can't detail it in court.
In the meantime, we've recently added them to the list of banned companies in America, meaning you have to get approval to do business with them. But I'm not sure we're even done figuring out what precisely that means. Does that mean I need the Commerce Secretary to sign off on a phone upgrade? I suppose it doesn't matter – the hassle would be enormous, of course I'll switch. But I don't mind my phone, really – it was cheap and much, much better than my old phone.
Technology will progress, maybe without them. The restrictions have already taken place, and without any public process I'm aware of. Maybe next time we can see the evidence of wrongdoing. In the meantime, I'll consider upgrading my phone.