An offer from Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei for free Wi-Fi on the Washington Redskins football game triggered a federal complaint that eventually led to the end of the partnership, according to a Wall Street Journal article on Monday.
In 2014, Huawei and Redskins officials struck a deal that would have allowed Huawei to provide Wi-Fi to suites at the team's home, FedEx Field. In exchange, Huawei wanted to announce during broadcasts and at the stadium, the Journal reported.
Huawei announced in the FedEx field in two games. Redskins vice president Rod Nenner even presented Huawei general manager Ming He in the field with a jersey that said "Huawei."
Shortly afterwards, Michael Wessel, a member of the US China Economic and Security Review Commission, called suites at the stadium often used by prominent Washingtonians, including senior officials.
Finally, Redskins settled the deal and selected US-based Wi-Fi providers later that year. The agreement between the Chinese company and the US sports team was in seven weeks, according to Journal.
US lawmakers have called Huawei a national security threat, referring to their close relationship with the Chinese government and Huawei has denied the charges.
A House Intelligence Committee six years ago certain company hardware could be used to spy on Am ericans.
The journal reported that Huawei officials notified Redskins representatives of the national security issues surrounding them during negotiations, referring to a source.
"Do you know who we are?" Asked a Huawei representative in demand.
"Do you know who we are?" Responded to the Redskins representative, according to the source. The team has long unleashed controversy over the name and logo, which critics are called racist.
A Redskins spokesman said the franchise didn't remember the call. Huawei refused to comment on the report.
Experts and lawmakers in the United States have continued to consider Huawei with concern.
The United States earlier this month asked Canadian authorities to arrest Meng Wanzhou, Huawei's Chief Financial Officer. Meng has been accused of violating trade sanctions against Iran and facing extradition to the United States
China has arrested two Canadian nationals, apparently through conciliation.