Huawei denies work in field linked to U.S. death in Singapore

Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:24am EST
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By Jeremy Wagstaff

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Chinese telecommunications company Huawei said on Monday it had not worked with an institute in Singapore on any projects in the specialist field of an American engineer who died mysteriously last year shortly after leaving the institute.

Britain's Financial Times said on Saturday that Shane Todd had been working on "what was apparently a joint project" between Singapore's Institute of Microelectronics, or IME, and Huawei shortly before he died last June.

His parents have said he was murdered because of his involvement in the project, which they say involved exporting sensitive military technology to China.

IME declined immediate comment.

Singapore police said they were still investigating the death of Todd, 31, and would submit their evidence to a coroner. Singaporean pathologists concluded in an autopsy last June that he died by hanging in his Singapore flat.

"IME approached Huawei on one occasion to cooperate with them in the GaN field, but we decided not to accept, and consequently do not have any cooperation with IME related to GaN," Huawei said in a statement.

Todd's area of expertise was Gallium Nitride (GaN), an advanced semiconductor material which has both commercial and military purposes. It is used in things from blue-ray disc players to military radars.

Huawei said that the development of GaN technology was commonplace across the telecommunications industry.   Continued...

A man looks at a Huawei mobile phone as he shops at an electronic market in Shanghai January 22, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria