Court orders Lithuanian news outlet to retract false statements on Huawei

[Vilnius, Lithuania, October 11, 2019] The District Court of Vilnius City, Lithuania, recently ruled that an article published in December 2018 by the Lithuanian newspaper Lrytas UAB contained false statements about Huawei. The court also ordered Lrytas UAB to publish a statement to clarify which statements were false on its website within two weeks since the effective date of the judgement. The newspaper was also required to bear some of Huawei's litigation costs. Huawei welcomes this verdict.

On December 14, 2018, Lrytas UAB published an article titled "The Chinese Giant Thrives in Lithuania Too". The article claimed that as of 2012, various types of data at the headquarters of the African Union (AU) were transmitted nightly to servers in China over a period of five years, and implied that some of Huawei's telecommunications equipment was involved. These allegations were completely unsubstantiated, and seriously damaged Huawei's reputation.

The truth is, the solution Huawei delivered to the AU has been controlled, managed, and operated by the AU's own IT staff. Huawei has no access to the AU's data, nor has Huawei transferred this data anywhere at any time. Huawei sued Lrytas UAB in March 2019, requesting that the court declare the article to be false, and oblige Lrytas UAB to refute the statements within and acknowledge them as false. The court supported Huawei's claims, stating in its verdict that this article misled readers and seriously damaged Huawei's business reputation.

After the court issued the verdict, Lrytas UAB published a statement on its official website on September 26, 2019, admitting that the article in question had damaged Huawei's business reputation (link to the statement:

Huawei thanks the District Court of Vilnius City, Lithuania, for its fair judgment. We would like to reiterate that cyber security and privacy protection are and will remain Huawei's top priorities, and Huawei has never and will never install backdoors in its equipment. Over the past 30 years, Huawei has been operating in over 170 countries and regions, serving more than three billion people around the world. We have and continue to maintain a solid track record in product quality and security.

We have established valued partnerships with carriers, enterprises, channel partners, suppliers, and consumers worldwide based on mutual trust and respect. Our strong and cherished track record in quality and security remains proven and traceable throughout the history of these relationships. We will take legal action against any smear campaigns or baseless public accusations to defend our legitimate rights and interests.