Iran Feature: The Chinese Telecom Giant Helping Tehran Track and Block Its Opponents (Stecklow/Fassihi/Chao)
When Western companies pulled back from Iran after the government's bloody crackdown on its citizens two years ago, a Chinese telecom giant filled the vacuum.
Huawei Technologies Co. now dominates Iran's government-controlled mobile-phone industry. In doing so, it plays a role in enabling Iran's state security network.
Huawei recently signed a contract to install equipment for a system at Iran's largest mobile-phone operator that allows police to track people based on the locations of their cellphones, according to interviews with telecom employees both in Iran and abroad, and corporate bidding documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. It also has provided support for similar services at Iran's second-largest mobile-phone provider. Huawei notes that nearly all countries require police access to cell networks, including the U.S.