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Huawei reportedly calls its research lab in China the ‘White House’

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As allegations that the tech company Huawei violated trade sanctions threaten to blow up relations between China and the US, life continues inside both the White House and Huawei’s headquarters, which is home to its own “White House.”

Bloomberg got a look inside Huawei’s massive campus, where employees are reportedly working on cutting-edge technology to rival the US, “heedless” to controversies overseas. The campus includes a research lab dubbed the “White House,” where visitors are rarely allowed inside, Bloomberg reports.

Huawei’s campus — located in Shenzhen, China — boasts an estimated 60,000 employees, and also features a lake home to black swans as a representation of “non-complacency within the corporate culture.”

Read more: Here’s everything you need to know about Huawei, the Chinese tech giant whose founder’s daughter was arrested and could spark an all-out trade war

While the average American may not be familiar with Huawei, the company is a major player in the tech industry. The company saw $93 billion in sales last year, which rivals numbers put up by Microsoft. Huawei makes phones that are widely popular, and beats out Apple in its production of smartphones.

But Huawei’s popular phones aren’t found regularly in the US. The company has tried and failed to make deals with network carriers, like AT&T and Verizon, to sell their devices. Because most people in the US buy smartphones from carrier stores, Huawei has largely been shut out from the US phone market.

The reason Huawei is so foreign to US consumers largely has to do with the company’s ties to the Chinese government. This relationship has made US officials fearful that Huawei’s smartphones and technology could be used for state-sponsored spying on the US, a sentiment that allied countries have echoed.

If the cybersecurity threat wasn’t enough to put a divide between the technology industries in US and China, the two countries have been locked in a trade war.

The arrest of Huawei’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, has worsened tensions. China was furious when Meng was detained earlier in December, and threatened “grave consequences” for the US and Canada. Although Meng is now out on bail, Chinese officials have followed through and recently detained two Canadian citizens in China.

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