Finally, and to settle a major matter of national security, comes proof that Chinese telecom giant Huawei is not involved in intelligence-gathering in the United States.
The company, which some U.S. officials worry is a front for Chinese spies, announced Tuesday that it is sponsoring the upcoming U.S. tour of . . . the Jonas Brothers.
Which is, like, so 2009.
If Huawei has an ear out in America, it’s made of tin.
The former Disney Channel pop stars did just release a new single, but they have not been near the charts for a while, supplanted by One Direction (zeitgeist alert: Malia Obama had a crush on Nick Jonas . . . five years ago) and consigned to reality television.
They are not currently popular in China, either, according to the Baidu.com list of top American and English music in the country.
A Pitbull or Macklemore tour — now that might win Huawei some points.
“We are excited,” Joe, Kevin and Nick Jonas said in a news release forwarded by Huawei officials. “We are thrilled to get back out on the road together . . . and looking forward to working with Huawei.”
Others in this country have looked forward to working with Huawei, too. Sprint, for example, wanted to buy a bunch of equipment from the company a few years ago. But the telecommunications firm was told not to do so by U.S. officials worried that Huawei, one of China’s most globally successful and competitive firms, might have engineered switches or other gear to give Chinese intelligence officials undetected access to U.S. networks. The issue has been ongoing. Congressional investigators visited Huawei last year, and the company’s deals have come under suspicion by a panel that oversees foreign acquisitions of U.S. companies and technology.
The company, which has several facilities in the United States, has made efforts to curry favor with the locals — showing up at charities with oversize checks and touting their American employment levels in corporate reports. And now the Jonas Bros., perhaps the first-ever Chinese foray into American teeny-bopper schmaltz.
The tour kicks off in July in Chicago, and Huawei will use the concerts to promote its Hero smartphone around the country.
“As many of our customers are music fans, this partnership is the perfect opportunity to bring them what they love the most through exclusive content and access to one of America’s most well-known bands,” Michael Chuang, executive vice president at Huawei Device USA, said in a news release promising to deliver chats and meet-and-greets with the three New Jersey boys.
Which may be a smart long-term plan, after all. If they tap into the preteen sensibility and sell everyone a Huawei phone, the next generation of representatives and senators and homeland security types will be comfortable with the company and the brand as they sing “Pom Poms” under their breath. “More to love when your hands are free, baby put your pom poms down for me.”
Or will it be “March of the Volunteers” by then?