Huawei committed to cyber-security

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 November, 2012, 4:48am

Huawei Technologies is committed to protecting cyber-security and working with governments in a transparent way, according to the head of the company's Canadian division.

Sean Yang, president of Huawei Canada, made the comments in a speech on Monday at a conference held by the International Institute of Communications in Ottawa.

Canada's Conservative Party government is considering a policy framework on foreign investment as it reviews Beijing-based CNOOC's US$15.1 billion bid for oil and gas producer Nexen, of Calgary.

Industry Minister Christian Paradis blocked Malaysia's Petroliam Nasional's purchase of Progress Energy Resources on October 19, saying the deal was not in Canada's best interests.

According to a United States congressional report last month, Huawei and ZTE, China's two largest phone-equipment makers, provided opportunities for Chinese intelligence services to tamper with US telecommunications networks for spying.

Yang said the report had "not been helpful, and for many Canadians who have never heard of our company … we've got significant work to do to build trust".

The US report said the companies failed to co-operate with an investigation and to adequately explain their business interests and relationship with the Chinese government.

"Huawei and ZTE seek to expand in the United States, but as a result of our investigation, we do not have the confidence that these two companies with their ties to the Chinese government can be trusted with infrastructure of such critical importance," committee chairman Mike Rogers said last month.

The US government should block acquisitions or mergers by Huawei and ZTE, the report said. It also recommended that government agencies and contractors not use equipment from the companies, and intelligence agencies should "remain vigilant and focused on this threat".

Since opening its Canadian headquarters in 2008, Huawei has "worked openly and transparently with our customers, and with government, to establish protocols to address issues related to the protection of global supply chains, and cyber-security", Yang said.

"We are incorporated in Canada," he said. "We follow Canadian laws and regulations. And we would never do anything to jeopardise or undermine the trust we know is critical to our long-term success."

Huawei was committed to working with the Canadian government on its cyber-security initiatives, he said.