October 18, 2013
Chinese Based Huawei Looks To Resolution With US
Peter Suciu for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies announced in a report on Friday it never has been asked to provide information about a citizen to any government. The largest phone-network equipment manufacturer in China also noted it may take a decade or longer to resolve cyber security concerns that now restrict its access to the United States.
Last year a US congressional committee said Huawei, along with Chinese based ZTE Corp, could provide opportunities for Chinese intelligence services to tamper with telecommunication networks for spying.
“America has genuine concerns, and it’s Huawei’s responsibility to satisfy those genuine concerns,” John Suffolk, the company’s global cyber security officer, said in a phone interview with Bloomberg on Friday. “We will continue to work with our American colleagues to satisfy their needs and concerns and we believe we can do that.”
In addition to gaining access to the United States, Huawei is facing a similar fight to enter the market in Australia. To address potential concerns, the company released a second white paper that details its approach to cyber security and called for governments to work with the industry to develop globally consistent standards.
Last year Huawei had issued a report in which it pledged never to engage in espionage or to cooperate with spies, while it also rejected allegations it was linked in any way to the Chinese government. Suffolk, who is also a former British government chief information officer, authored that report which called for worldwide cooperation in creating legal and technology security standards.
In this new report, Huawei again suggested it doesn’t do official information gathering for the Chinese government.
“We have never been asked to provide access to our technology, or provide any data or information on any citizen or organization to any government," said Huawei's deputy chairman, Ken Hu, in a foreword to the report as reported by the AP/ABC News.
Huawei maintains it is owned by its employees and denies that it is controlled by China’s ruling Communist Party or the military. According to the company’s reports, about 74,000 of the total 150,000 workers hold shares in the company.
However, suspicions it might be tied to China’s espionage programs have slowed its expansion in the United States. It was also barred from bidding for a role in the building of a broadband network in Australia.
In October of 2012 the company offered the Australian government unrestricted access to its source code and even hardware equipment in response.
Since that time, however, the issue of US government surveillance and the role of Internet and telecom companies were disclosed by Edward Snowden, raising awareness of the problem. These disclosures have hurt the trust in the industry, even as Huawei has looked to allay such fears.
However, Huawei further maintains it doesn’t even manufacture all the products that it offers.
“When people see Huawei’s telecom equipment, they may assume all the components come from Huawei, just because Huawei’s name is on the box,” Suffolk told the Wall Street Journal in an interview on Friday. “But 70 percent of all the components in Huawei equipment are from suppliers around the world, with the biggest portion coming from US suppliers.
“If you ban equipment from Huawei or any specific supplier, that gives you a false sense of security,” Suffolk added. “Hackers don’t pick one equipment supplier to break into the system. They sniff around everyone’s equipment. If you think you’ve solved your problem by blocking certain companies, hackers could still come in through other routes.”
To further help improve the concerns of cyber security requirements, the company announced plans to publish a list of the top 100 issues that its customers have raised on the topic.