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Huawei Hired Two U.S. Firms to Deal with its PR Crisis

Huawei has contracted with two U.S. firms to conduct public relations lobbying and provide legal services in order to save its image. The two companies are Racepoint Global and Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW). On March 22, the Center for Responsive Politics, a non-profit, nonpartisan research group that tracks foreign government lobbying activities, publicized the Foreign Agents Registration Act registration (FARA) forms that the two companies completed on March 20 with the Department of Justice.

“BCW will develop a campaign to improve Huawei’s reputation in the U.S. by working with business partners, advisory council members, media outlets, people of influence, and ‘key opinion leaders’ with a budget of $160,000.”

“Racepoint similarly states it will visit with analysts, people of influence and media members and ‘draft content generation for the purpose of educating policymakers and legislators on client positions’ but will ‘have no direct contact with government officials.’”

“Huawei agreed to pay Racepoint $55,000 per month through September 2019. On top of that monthly retainer, Huawei agreed to pay ‘reasonable’ expenses and billing rates for individual team members of up to $320 per hour for the three managing directors. Racepoint’s contract also anticipates the potential of “talent,” “key opinion leaders,” and “celebrity” related costs.”

In the past years, Huawei has spent upwards of seven figures on lobbying efforts as reported under the domestic Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA), according to the Center, but this is the first time that U.S. firms registered with the Department of Justice as the foreign agents for Huawei.

Source: Radio France International, March 24, 2019
Center for Responsive Politics, March 22, 2019

US firms register as foreign agents of embattled Chinese telecom giant Huawei