Huawei rejects security risk claims and asks governments for evidence

Huawei rejects security risk claims and asks governments for evidence

"We will open a security transparency centre in Brussels in the first quarter of 2019 to assure clients that our products are reliable", said Huawei's rotating chairman Hu Houkun. The journalists visited R&D labs showcasing materials and thermal management technologies developed for 5G equipment, as well as an independent cybersecurity lab.

Ken Hu defended Huawei, saying these countries were only trying to block out the company because it is their strongest competition. A number of countries have moved to ban the company from selling its equipment there, while operators including BT, SoftBank and Deutsche Telekom are reportedly reconsidering the use of Huawei equipment for 5G. Hu noted that there have been no serious cybersecurity incidents in 30 years.

USA government officials have been pressuring Deutsche Telekom, the majority owner of T-Mobile US, to stop using Huawei equipment, sources say. That last effort - a massive push to gain a prominent say in the future of mobile and internet communications - has raised hackles in the US and become a focal point for American attempts to contain China's ascendancy.

"Rare cases" have arisen where some countries are using 5G issues as an excuse for groundless speculation based on "ideological or geopolitical considerations".

Although Huawei has not been able to sell equipment or smartphones to the major wireless network operators in the U.S., a large number of small and regional wireless network operators do use equipment from Huawei. If Huawei were allowed to compete in the United States for 5G deployment from 2017 to 2020, around US$20 billion of capital expenditure in wireless infrastructure would be saved, according to some economists. "We haven't received any request to provide improper information", Hu said. Huawei has subjected itself to the strictest reviews and screening by regulators and customers, while expressing understanding of legitimate concerns that some stakeholders might have.

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Huawei, founded in 1987 by a former military engineer, rejects accusations that it is controlled by the ruling Communist Party or designs equipment to facilitate eavesdropping. Despite the often-quoted concerns about Chinese law, Hu stressed the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs had formally explained that no law requires companies to install mandatory backdoors. Any proof or evidence could be shared with telecom operators, if not to Huawei or the public at large.

"We will continue to increase our investment on security and security related technologies".

It's offering to spend at least $2 billion to transform the way it engineers software, instead of merely applying one-time changes and workarounds in response to specific demands from companies and governments. Even before Meng's arrest, Huawei had expressed frustration with the way it's perceived by governments, most recently in the United Kingdom, where it's regarded as less than fully secure.

"The people making the decisions in Beijing really think when push comes to shove, they can put pressure on Canada to override the system", he said. Executive travel plans were not impacted, and Huawei remains very confident about its trade compliance system, which has been running since 2007. But he added: "All the countries involved are inter-dependent - if any link of this global industry chain is obstructed, that hurts the development of the global economy and the industry supply chain as a whole".

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