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Denmark expels two Huawei staff after inspecting permits

A pedestrian talks on his phone while he walking past a Huawei store in Beijing on January 30, 2019 Image copyright Getty Images

Denmark has deported two Huawei workers after finding they had flouted work and residence permit rules.

Police said it was part of a policy of regular checks on companies with large numbers of foreign workers.

They said the inspection had nothing to do with the recent controversy surrounding the Chinese telecoms giant.

Huawei has been at the centre of controversy, due to growing scrutiny over its ties with the Chinese government.

The firm, one of the world's biggest producers of telecoms equipment, has faced resistance from foreign governments over the risk that its technology could be used for espionage.

Huawei has denied claims it poses a spying risk.

The company has so far failed to respond to requests for comment.

A Huawei spokeswoman told Bloomberg: "These visa checks are routine, and we are co-operating with the authorities."

Separately, Norway's intelligence service PST has issued a warning about about the company.

"One has to be attentive about Huawei as an actor and about the close connections between a commercial actor like Huawei and the Chinese regime," the PST's head, Benedicte Bjornland, said.

"An actor like Huawei could be subject to influence from its home country as long as China has an intelligence law that requires private individuals, entities and companies to cooperate with China," she added.

Profit fears

Several countries, including the US, have banned Huawei 5G telecoms equipment citing security reasons.

Restrictions on Huawei's ability to sell its 5G gear to overseas mobile networks threaten its profits, after it has spent huge sums on developing the technologies.

In the UK, for example, BT has already said it will not use the firm's equipment in the "core" of its network, although it still plans to use its phone mast antennas and other products elsewhere.

But even this could be constrained if the government decides to act on "deep concerns", voiced by the Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, on the use of its kit.

The company has reportedly written to staff saying jobs may need to be cut if it has to lower its targets.

Huawei, however, remains confident about the performance of its handset business, which continues to grow despite it failing to secure a distribution deal with a US network.

The unit shipped 208 million handsets in 2018, putting it behind only Samsung.

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