Richard Roche: Controversial Landscape of Huawei Lobbying in Europe

Richard Roche is an Irish former politician. He served as Minister of State for European Affairs from 2002 to 2004. Then again from 2007 to 2011, served as Minister for the Environment, Heritage, and Local Government from 2004 to 2007. There are concerns that Roche serves Chinese interests in Europe by lobbying for Huawei company.

According to information, Former European affairs minister Dick Roche has earned  €200,000 as a lobbyist for Chinese tech giant Huawei. Huawei is one of the world’s most controversial organizations. Typically, Defending Huawei is considered as defending the Chinese authoritarian regime. 

It has been observed that Mr Roche has been working with Huawei in Europe for more than five years. He also owns the company “The Skill Set.”. According to filings, he and his firm do not lobby on behalf of Huawei in Ireland. Once asked if he was worried about working for the Chinese giant, Mr. Roche said, “Not at all.” “The US wants to try and engage other countries in their trade war. “Everyone has reasons to be concerned about cyber security, but not just from one source. It is a universally important issue that needs to be dealt with in a mature, non-political way,” he told the Irish Independent. Moreover, Mr. Roche warned that The cost to Europe of “pandering” to US President Donald Trump over 5G will “run into billions.” 

He also cautioned that the US’s decision to ‘weaponize’ the global supply chain in its fight with China poses a significant threat to the rules-based international trading strategy. In one of his 2021 write-ups, Mr. Roche defended Huawei. According to him, Huwaei has been a trusted supplier to Europe’s major network operators for over 20 years. Huawei is the most diligently scrutinized ICT supplier in the market. Further, he said the firm has never once suffered a significant cybersecurity incident, and Huawei’s developments have always been clean. This stance shows that Roche is inadequately supporting the company.

Moreover, he contended, “Those who attack Huawei’s security record have not produced a shred of evidence to support their claims. Huawei operates cybersecurity centers in the UK, Germany, and Brussels. It shares access to source codes and other sensitive data with European governments, state agencies & network operators to an unparalleled degree.”

Huawei is the world’s biggest telecom network gear maker and the number two producer of smartphones. US companies have banned l doing business with Huawei. Huawei has long been faced with criticism. Analysts claim it is unclear and closer to the Chinese state than it declares. Several Western governments have stopped Huawei supplies from their new 5G telecom networks. The firm may help Beijing with intelligence-gathering, which Huawei rejects.

However, most EU countries have refused US requests to ban European Huawei networks.

Ex-UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson also disagreed with then-President Mr Trump when UK rules authorized Huawei to remain in British 5G networks.

In the 2011 election, when Mr Roche quickly lost, he reinvented himself as a Brussels lobbyist. He is listed on the EU register of lobbyists as a “senior adviser on relations with EU institutions.” According to the EU’s transparency register, Mr Roche anticipates earning between €100,000 and €200,000 For his services to Huawei. Further, he expects to acquire fees between €10,000 and €25,000 from the Licensed Gaming Association of Ireland.

Huawei, which operates 300 people in Ireland, is used in Eir’s 5G network there. Last year, a senior White House official cautioned that there may be “implications” for Ireland because Eir has adopted Huawei in its 5G network. 


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