Date
19 February 2019
Huawei said it has not and will never harm the interests of customers or countries, amid suspicion that Beijing could use its technology for spying. Photo: Bloomberg
Huawei said it has not and will never harm the interests of customers or countries, amid suspicion that Beijing could use its technology for spying. Photo: Bloomberg

Huawei open to EU supervision, says senior executive

Chinese telecoms giant Huawei wants cybersecurity to be viewed as a technical rather than ideological issue and is open to supervision by European governments to prove the point, Reuters reports, citing a senior company executive.

The comments due to be delivered in a speech on Thursday evening by Abraham Liu, Huawei’s chief representative to EU institutions, come as the company finds itself under fire over ties with the Chinese government and suspicion that Beijing could use its technology for spying, which the company denies.

Liu will reiterate that Huawei has not and would never harm the interests of customers or countries.

“Cybersecurity should remain as a technical issue instead of an ideological issue. Because technical issues can always be resolved through the right solutions while ideological issue cannot,” Liu was to say at the company’s Chinese New Year reception in Brussels, according to a copy of his speech seen by Reuters.

“We are always willing to accept the supervision and suggestions of all European governments, customers and partners.”

Liu was to say that Huawei devices, tested by multiple regulators and telecoms operators, have never caused any serious cyber security breaches.

The United States has launched a campaign to convince European allies not to use equipment from the world’s biggest producer of telecoms gear for 5G networks, citing security risks.

The French Senate on Wednesday rejected proposed legislation aimed at toughening checks on telecoms equipment despite the US warnings.

Germany wants to avoid excluding Huawei products from the build-out of the next generation 5G network in Germany, business daily Handelsblatt reported on Thursday, citing government sources.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief of staff, Helge Braun, agreed the position with the foreign, interior, economy, finance and infrastructure ministries, Handelsblatt reported in its online edition.

Government sources had told Reuters that German ministers on Wednesday discussed how to safeguard security in future 5G mobile networks, amid intense debate over whether to shut Huawei out of the market.

Merkel has said Germany needs guarantees that Huawei would not hand data to the Chinese state before it can take part in building 5G networks that would link everything from vehicles to factories at far greater speeds.

Huawei, the global networks market leader with annual sales exceeding US$100 billion, faces international scrutiny over its ties with the Chinese government and suspicion Beijing could use its technology for spying.

No evidence has been produced publicly and the firm has repeatedly denied the claims, but the allegations have led several Western countries to restrict Huawei’s access to their markets.

Huawei has already set up information security labs in Germany and Britain aimed at building confidence that its equipment does not contain “back doors” exposing networks to cyber spies and on Wednesday offered to build a similar center in Poland.

Italy’s industry minister on Thursday denied a report that Italy would ban Huawei and ZTE Corp.  (00763.HK, 000063.CN) from playing a role in building its 5G network.

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CG

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