Huawei argued market position rather than security concerns was underpinning US attacks on the company, as it responded to a UK government inquiry into 5G safety.

The inquiry, being conducted by the House of Commons’ Defence Committee, comes as Huawei faces increased scrutiny in the UK following tightened US restrictions.

US Republican Senator Tom Cotton told the inquiry Huawei was using its telecoms equipment to drive a “hi-tech wedge” between the countries, while warning using the vendor’s kit in UK networks could help the Chinese government hack into military operations.

Cotton added the US could team with the UK and other allied nations to develop its own 5G technologies, stating they had the “capability and innovative entrepreneurial spirit” to develop technologies which “will far surpass in quality, performance and price, anything that China produces”.

The Times reported last week the UK government was also exploring a similar approach to reduce its reliance on Chinese technology.

No evidence
In a statement responding to Cotton’s comments, Huawei’s UK VP Victor Zhang said the parliamentary committee was given no evidence to substantiate security allegations.

“Today’s committee concentrated on America’s desire for a home-grown 5G company that can match or beat Huawei.”

He added the company welcomes fair and open competition, “as it fosters innovation and drives down costs for everyone”.

The UK government confirmed last month it was reviewing the impact of a US’ decision to restrict Huawei’s access to components produced overseas using domestic software and technology.

Huawei was cleared in January by the UK government to provide a limited amount of 5G equipment in non-sensitive parts of networks, but the decision faced opposition from certain MPs.