Huawei’s deputy chairman, Ken Hu, in a foreword to the Chinese supplier’s latest white paper on cyber security, said any notion that the firm might be involved in government-backed cyber hacking is entirely unfounded.
“We can confirm we have never received any instructions or requests from any government or their agencies to change our positions, policies, procedures, hardware, software or employment practices or anything else, other than suggestions to improve our end-to-end cyber security capability,” said Hu.
Hu added that Huawei “has have never been asked to provide access to our technology, or provide any data or information on any citizen or organization to any government, or their agencies”.
The statement comes against a backdrop of international political suspicion, in some quarters, about the integrity of Chinese suppliers.
In the US, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) recently published a scathing assessment of Huawei’s reliability in an ‘Investigative Report on the US National Security Issues Posed by Chinese Telecommunications Companies Huawei and ZTE’. Their report concluded that “the risks associated with Huawei and ZTE’s provision of equipment to US critical infrastructure could undermine core US national-security interests”.
In the UK, a summer report by the UK’s Intelligence Security Committee, a parliamentary body, criticised what it saw as the lax manner in which China’s Huawei was allowed to get “embedded” in the UK’s critical national infrastructure (CNI).
While the committee found no evidence that Huawei was guilty of any cyber espionage or wrongdoing, the report noted that “the process for considering national security issues at that time was insufficiently robust” at the time BT signed up Huawei as a supplier.
Moreover, the Australian Government has decided, reportedly on national security grounds, to exclude Huawei from involvement in their National Broadband Network, a similar upgrade project to that being pursued in the UK by BT.