Ruder Finn has signed a $1.4 million, year-long deal with Huawei to handle US communications.
The agency will provide strategic counsel, media relations, an influencer and key opinion leader program, industry analyst relations, thought leadership services, data insights and audience analysis. Ruder Finn will also work on assessment and measurement, a content strategy, as well as issues management and crisis communications services, according to a Foreign Agents Registration Act filing.
Ruder Finn’s work for Huawei will be coloured by the Chinese tech company’s troubled relationship with the US government and national security experts’ concern that Huawei’s 5G cellular network equipment could be used by the Chinese government to spy on the US.
As a result of those concerns, the Trump administration has been in a running battle with Huawei. Earlier this year, Trump extended a May 2019 executive order that gave him the power stop companies from buying Huawei equipment. Trump has also issued visa restrictions for Huawei employees working in the US.
Ruder Finn’s contract with Huawei is set to run through the end of next October, according to the FARA filing, and the agency will be paid an estimated $1.4 million.
A Huawei representative could not be reached for comment.
Ruder Finn acknowledged it is working for Huawei but did not provide any details on the work it is doing for the firm.
In October 2019, Huawei Technologies USA hired the then newly created BCW Group subsidiary Pivot Integrated Communications, to handle comms in a contract worth almost $1 million. Prior to that, Huawei worked with BCW. The WPP firm did not immediately comment on the Ruder Finn deal.
Huawei has also renewed a deal to work with Racepoint Global on US comms, according to FARA documents.
Under this deal, worth $1.9 million, Racepoint Global will conduct a PR campaign including a media relations program, key opinion leader program, and analyst initiative and an executive social media effort. Racepoint will also manage content, marketing and events, intelligence, and conduct a brand social media program.
Racepoint’s original contract with Huawei started in September 2018. This renewal extends that work through the end of next October.
“We renewed our contract with Huawei Technologies US and the work hasn’t changed,” said Racepoint SVP Ben Haber via email. Haber did not comment when asked if Racepoint is working with Ruder Finn on the account.