Huawei has created a major presence in the world through the laying of submarine communications cable and providing the connecting equipment. With current US sanctions against Huawei products, services and technology, the advances in Huawei Marine should give transportation sector members pause.
Huawei Marine has described itself online this way: “Huawei Marine Networks Co., Limited (Huawei Marine) is a joint venture established by Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. and the British company Global Marine Systems Limited, established in Tianjin, China, in 2009 to provide international submarine cable network installation, solutions, services, and products services. Huawei Marine solutions cover the entire project development, including business plan, design, integration and installation of systems, route study, training and maintenance, construction, and commissioning; as well as technical support and system upgrades (wave length, dark fiber, and SLTE), among others.”
Huawei Marine claims that since its formation it has completed 90 cable projects and has made cable connections to 68 countries. The map in Figure 11 from the Huawei Marine website shows its completed and ongoing projects. One of Huawei Marine’s most recent projects, completed in Feb 2019, was an upgrade of the West Africa Cable System, which it described as the longest 100G submarine cable system in Africa.
For the most part, there are only limited connections in European countries and few with North America. In recent years, some proposed cable projects that Huawei was to build have been cancelled due to security concerns. For example, Huawei Marine signed a construction contract in 2012 to build the Project Express segment of Hibernia Atlantic’s Global Financial Network (GFN), a 2,800-mile submarine cable from the UK to Halifax, Canada. This contract raised some concerns since it would be a link in the connection between London and New York via an intermediate stop near Boston. In 2015, security concerns from potential customers in the US about the use of Huawei equipment caused Hibernia to drop Huawei in favor of TE Subcom.
Similarly, a report by the US Director of National Intelligence in 2017 entitled “Threats to Undersea Cable Communications” highlighted the case of Australia’s concerns about construction of an undersea cable from the Solomon Islands to Sydney, Australia. The Director of Australia’s Secret Intelligence Service objected to the project in 2016 when the Solomons began negotiating with Huawei Marine for the contract. In the end, Australia determined to pay much of the contract itself and use an Australian company.
This report is a subsection to our full report, “How Big A Problem Is Huawei ?” This report can be found in the Finished Intelligence section of our Red Sky Alliance portal or at this link: IR-19-063-001 Should We Worry About Huawei_FINAL.pdf
About Wapack Labs - Wapack Labs, located in New Boston, NH, is a Cyber Threat Analysis and Intelligence organization supporting the Red Sky Alliance, various ISACs, and individual corporations. For questions or comments regarding this report, please contact the lab directly by at 1-844-492-7225, or firstname.lastname@example.org