Huawei publishes Q&A on website to make its case as stakes rise in global battle for 5G supremacy
- Huawei sets out its case in detailed Q&A as stakes rise in battle for roll out of 5G network equipment technology
As European telecommunications network operators continue to review their plans to use equipment from Huawei Technologies amid concerns that governments could ban the vendor, the Chinese telecoms giant has published a detailed Q&A on its website entitled “Huawei Facts”.
The US government has been pushing its allies to block the Chinese company, citing fears that its equipment could be used for spying, something that Huawei executives have strenuously denied. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said this week that America may be forced to scale back certain operations in Europe and elsewhere if countries continue to do business with Huawei.
For its part, Huawei has always denied any untoward connections with the Chinese military or security agencies. It has said all countries need to recognise the importance of setting better common standards, adopting industry best practices and implementing risk-mitigation procedures to ensure that there is an objective basis for choosing technology vendors.
All of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance – including the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – have effectively blocked Huawei from building their next-generation 5G mobile networks, as has Japan. Telecoms carriers and governments in Europe – Huawei’s biggest foreign market – are also re-evaluating their relationships with the company.
UK-based Vodafone Group last month suspended purchases of Huawei equipment for the core of its wireless networks while it is in talks with various agencies, governments and the Chinese company. BT Group is removing Huawei equipment from the core of its mobile network. Deutsche Telekom, Europe’s biggest carrier, is also reviewing its procurement strategy.
With the stakes rising, here are some of the highlights from Huawei’s Q&A:
In response to the arrest of Sabrina Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei and daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei, in Canada at the request of US authorities – the company says it has sought an opportunity to discuss the Eastern District of New York investigation with the Justice Department, but the request was rejected without explanation.
The US authorities have accused Meng of fraudulently representing Huawei to get around US sanctions on Iran.
In its Q&A, Huawei denies that its subsidiaries or affiliates have committed any of the asserted violations of US law set forth in each of the indictments and says it believes the US courts will “ultimately reach the same conclusion”.
Despite Vodafone’s decision to pause deployment of Huawei equipment in its core networks in Europe, the Chinese company says this does not mean their relationship “has come to an end”.
On the issue of broad security concerns, Huawei says it is a “challenge to disprove unsubstantiated claims”. The Chinese company says there has never been a major security breach in its 30 years of business but if evidence is produced, it will be addressed “directly”.
Huawei also asserts that despite numerous “inaccurate reports in the media”, Chinese law does not require it to install “back doors” in networks and other equipment.