Posted on Mar 17, 2021
Chinese Huawei, the subject of much controversy over its attempts to dominate 5G networks around the world, is quietly infiltrating Europe's renewable energy sector through a UK-based company METKA-EGN, writes Gary Cartwright.
METKA-EGN, a subsidiary of Greek-owned Mytilineos, in 2018 concluded a deal with its “major partner” Lightsource BP, the largest solar developer in Europe, and third largest in the world outside of China, to sell four solar photovoltaic power projects in the United Kingdom, with total capacity of 18 MW.
Although the four units were reported at the time to have been “developed and constructed by Metka Egn”, it has been speculated that the units may have been a means of placing Huawei technology into the UK’s energy infrastructure for China's own reasons.
The concerns about the ownership of Huawei, which presents itself as being owned by its workers - an assertion which appears to be, like most Communist ideology, a mix of fiction and fantasy - will not go away.
An April 2019 research paper by Christopher Balding (Fulbright University) and Donald C. Clarke (George Washington Law School) concluded:
• The Huawei operating company is 100% owned by a holding company, which is in turn approximately 1% owned by Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei and 99% owned by an entity called a “trade union committee” for the holding company.
• We know nothing about the internal governance procedures of the trade union committee. We do not know who the committee members or other trade union leaders are, or how they are selected.
• Trade union members have no right to assets held by a trade union.
• What have been called “employee shares” in “Huawei” are in fact at most contractual interests in a profit-sharing scheme.
• Given the public nature of trade unions in China, if the ownership stake of the trade union committee is genuine, and if the trade union and its committee function as trade unions generally function in China, then Huawei may be deemed effectively state-owned.
- Regardless of who, in a practical sense, owns and controls Huawei, it is clear that the employees do not.
It is clear that Huawei is strongly linked to the Chinese state and the Chinese Communist Party, despite its statements to the contrary. This is evidenced by its ownership model and the subsidies it has received.
A March 17th 2021 press release from Huawei announced that through Mytilineos it is providing "innovative and reliable Huawei string inverters, for PV plants including but not limited to the UK, Uzbekistan, Spain and Cyprus."
Access, indeed control of, vital infrastructure such as communications and energy could been seen as a strategic aim by any potential aggressor, and should be viewed as a threat.
Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Taiwan and the U.S. have decided to ban and phase out Huawei's products within their mobile networks, with the UK taking similar steps due to spying and other fears. Other countries are considering similar steps.
In the meantime, China appears to have found another way in....
Image: By METKA GR - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/...
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