Huawei rotating chairman Ken Hu (pictured) called on governments enacting bans on Chinese equipment to show evidence of the alleged security threats and open up the lines of communication so it can take action, but noted this hasn’t been the case with many countries.
“When it comes to security, we need to let the facts speak for themselves, Huawei’s record on security is clean.” Over 30 years, the company has never had a serious cyber security issue or seen any evidence showing its equipment is a security threat: “We have a solid track record,” Hu stated during a press conference at its headquarters in Shenzhen.
The rotating chairman added the company is keenly aware it has to be proactive with governments, local communities and its customers, but argued: “this is what we have been doing, and we are willing to take additional steps compared to our peers in the industry.”
“We will not relax. As technology becomes more complex and networks become more open, we will continue to increase our investment in security related efforts.”
For example, Huawei plans to launch a security centre in Brussels in Q1 2019 as part of a longer-term plan to expand cooperation with other governments around the world, such as Canada and the UK.
In addition, it will invest $2 billion over the next five years to improve its software engineering processes to be better prepared for the future.
Hu noted that despite efforts to create fear about Huawei, “our customers continue to trust us and work with us. I’m grateful for their support.”
Its three business groups, he said, all had satisfying business growth in 2018, which he exclaimed “has been so eventful”. The company is targeting a record $100 billion in total revenue for the year. It secured more than 25 commercial 5G contracts and shipped more than 10,000 5G base stations.
Hu said he’s not in a position to answer questions related to the arrest of its CFO Meng Wanzhou in Canada on suspicion of violating trade sanctions because it’s an ongoing case, but reiterated the company is confident in its trade compliance measures, along with the judicial systems in Canada and the US.
The case has had no impact on executives’ travel plans.
He said another area of concern centres around Huawei not being a public company, noting “that does not mean we can’t achieve the same level of transparency. We’ve made a lot of efforts and will take more. We are a private company owned by employees.”
Asked about its limited business in the US, Hu noted it is one of the largest communications markets in the world, so “we can’t say it doesn’t matter to Huawei. But the government has made it difficult” and limited the opportunities.
However, he cited a potential increase in the cost of network equipment due to the absence of Huawei and other Chinese gear in the US, which he said would ultimately be passed on to end-users.