Huawei's current presence in the global technology space is...not great. It's already banned in four major countries across the world, and thanks to a new report from Bloomberg, the image of the company is once again headed in the wrong direction.
Speaking with Bloomberg, Vodafone confirmed that it discovered vulnerabilities in Huawei-made equipment that it was using in 2011 and 2012. Per the report:
Europe's biggest phone company identified hidden backdoors in the software that could have given Huawei unauthorized access to the carrier's fixed-line network in Italy, a system that provides internet service to millions of homes and businesses.
Huawei was asked by Vodafone to remove the backdoors and "received assurances from the supplier that the issues were fixed." However, testing later revealed that nothing had actually been done.
Vodafone also identified backdoors in parts of its fixed-access network known as optical service nodes, which are responsible for transporting internet traffic over optical fibers, and other parts called broadband network gateways, which handle subscriber authentication and access to the internet, the people said.
While it doesn't appear that this issue will have any serious impact on Huawei and Vodafone's relationship, another incident like this certainly doesn't bode well for Huawei as a whole. Vodafone's said that it's continued to work with the company thanks to its competitive pricing, so much so that Huawei is the fourth-largest supplier for it.
Huawei still has good relationships with the likes of China, South Korea, Italy, and others, but with 32.6% of the world's GDP already banning the company and another 2.3% likely to issue a ban, stories like this need to stop popping up if it wants a shot at redemption.