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Slammed in the US, welcome in NZ -- what's up with Huawei?

Sarah Putt | Oct. 10, 2012
Huawei has been slammed in a special report by the US House of Representative select committee which investigated whether the Chinese telecommunications equipment vendor poses a national security threat.

Huawei has been slammed in a special report by the US House of Representative select committee which investigated whether the Chinese telecommunications equipment vendor poses a national security threat.

The report warns telecommunication companies in the US against using equipment supplied by Huawei and another major Chinese vendor ZTE (see report below). "Based on available classified and unclassified information, Huawei and ZTE cannot be trusted to be free of foreign state influence and thus pose a security threat to the United States and to our systems."

In response, Huawei has issued a global statement (see below) claiming despite its full cooperation, the US committee "was committed to a pre-determined outcome."

"The report released by the Committee today employs many rumors and speculations to prove non-existent accusations. This report does not address the challenges faced by the ICT industry. Almost every ICT firm is conducting R&D, software coding and production activities globally; they share the same supply chain, and the challenges on network security are beyond a company or a country. The Committee's report completely ignored this fact. We have to suspect that the only purpose of such a report is to impede competition and obstruct Chinese ICT companies from entering the US market."

In New Zealand opposition parties want the government to stop Huawei operating in New Zealand following the concerns expressed in the US congressional report. Labour is calling for an independent inquiry into the Government's handling of Huawei's share of the $1.35 billion Ultra Fast Broadband deployment.

"These allegations on such a sensitive contract raise potential national security concerns. Kiwis have lost confidence in our intelligence agencies since the Dotcom saga so an independent investigation is needed," says Labour's acting ICT spokesperson David Cunliffe.

"The United States is now urging potential Huawei customers to look elsewhere and the Australians are also limiting the company's involvement. Kiwis need to know why we are taking a different approach. What do they know that we don't?"

ICT Minister Amy Adams has emailed Computerworld the following statement:

"The opposition parties are painting a very misleading view of the situation. The fact is that Huawei is involved in telecommunications in more than 100 countries, and hundreds of millions of people use their technology.

"It is incorrect to suggest that the Government is not active in regards to minimising potential cyber threats, however I am not prepared to have a public discussion about our security strategies. It has been a long-standing tradition that governments do not comment on intelligence matters or individual companies.

"However, it is important to make clear that the Government takes network security seriously, and is committed to working with operators and suppliers to protect the integrity and confidentiality of New Zealand's telecommunications networks.

 

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