Huawei’s founder said he would ‘shut the company down’ if his phone company was ever used by the Chinese government to carry out surveillance.
According to Tim Watkins, the company’s vice-president for western Europe, Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei said he had never been asked to hand over sensitive information.
Speaking in a television interview on the BBC’s Today programme Watkins sought to allay fears surrounding the Chinese firm’s contract to develop the UK’s 5G network.
‘Our founder, Mr Ren Zhengfei, has made it clear that he has never been asked to hand over any customer data or information,’ Watkins said.
Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei reportedly has never been asked to hand over sensitive information by the Chinese government
Tim Watkins, Huawei’s Western Europe Vice-president, appeared on the BBC’s Today programme on Tuesday to defend the company
‘And he has made it clear that if asked he would refuse and if it was attempted to be enforced he would shut the company down,’ Watkins said.
The United States has told allies not to use Huawei’s technology to build new 5G telecommunications networks because of concerns it could be a vehicle for Chinese spying, an accusation the firm has denied.
‘There is no obligation on Huwaei’s part to cooperate with the government in the way in which the Americans are indicating,’ Tim Watkins later told BBC radio on Tuesday.
‘There is no mandate in (China’s national intelligence) law that we have to had over customer data or intelligence that we do not wish to hand over or we think should be sensitive.’
Watkins added that the code used in their products was safe and secure.
It emerged last month that Theresa May was prepared to allow Huawei to supply non-core technology for 5G, which could include antennae and other network components. The news emerged through a highly controversial leak that led to the sacking of Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson.
Huawei have been banned from taking part in constructing 5G networks in the US and Australia, but no such ban was implemented in the UK
Gavin Williamson was sacked from his position as Defence Secretary for allegedly leaking information about Huawei’s future involvement in the UK’s 5G network
Earlier this year, Australia banned Huawei from taking part in the construction of its own 5G network. Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, last week blasted the UK’s plans to allow the firm to do so here – claiming it would allow China to ‘control the internet of the future’ and ‘divide Western alliances through bits and bytes’.
Former MI6 boss Sir Richard Dearlove warned Huawei could ‘disrupt national security’ in a crisis if it was allowed to build the 5G network.
The ex spy chief also warned against taking mobile phones to China over fears they could be hacked.
In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, Sir Richard – who worked at MI6 for 38 years – has slammed the Government’s decision to allow Huawei to take part in the construction of Britain’s new ultra-fast 5G internet network.
In extreme scenarios, he suggested, Huawei’s involvement in building the network, which will allow consumers to download films on their phones in seconds and enable the development of sophisticated technologies like self-driving cars and artificial intelligence, could lead to security risks.
‘[It could mean] you lose control of your robots as it were, maybe, to a foreign power,’ he said.
Former MI6 boss Sir Richard Dearlove (pictured) has warned Chinese telecoms giant Huawei could ‘disrupt national security’
‘In a crisis, they might be able to disrupt our national security communications.’
US secretary of state Mike Pompeo has also lambasted Theresa May over the decision.
Huawei stole a robot’s arm for trade secrets: US government
The US government is alleging Chinese tech company Huawei went so far as to steal a robot’s arm in its bid to get its hands on T-Mobile’s trade secrets.
The Justice Department unveiled a 10-count grand jury indictment in Seattle in a case that centers on a T-Mobile phone-testing robot named ‘Tappy.’
It says Huawei engineers secretly took photos of the robot, measured it and tried to steal part of it from T-Mobile’s lab, according to prosecutors. T-Mobile declined to comment.
It’s separate from a 13-count case that accuses Huawei of misleading banks about the company’s business and violating US sanctions.
Huawei is China’s first global technology competitor and one of the world’s biggest cellphone companies and makers of telecommunications parts. It has rejected accusations that it is controlled by China’s ruling party and might facilitate spying.
But the T-Mobile case portrays a company going to illegal lengths to gain access to others’ intellectual property.
After a recent visit to London he warned the UK that it could lose access to vital American intelligence if it does not distance itself from the Chinese tech firm.
In a stinging criticism of the Prime Minister, Donald Trump’s top diplomat invoked the memory of ‘Iron Lady’ Margaret Thatcher, asking: ‘Would she have allowed China to control to control the internet of the future?’
Earlier he had stood alongside Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and warned that the US would not allow access to its secrets to countries who were not using ‘trusted networks’.
Washington is urging allies to keep Huawei out of sensitive infrastructure programmes, citing fears that the company may provide a route for China’s communist regime to spy on the West.
But Mrs May had reportedly gave the green light to the company bidding for work on ‘non-core’ aspects of the hi-tech 5G network at a secret meeting, overruling concerns from ministers including Gavin Williamson, who was later sacked as defence secretary over suspicions that he had leaked details of discussions.
‘Ask yourself: would the Iron Lady be silent when China violates the sovereignty of nations through corruption or coercion?’ Pompeo said.
‘I know it is a sensitive topic but we have to talk about sensitive things as friends.
‘As a matter of Chinese law the Chinese government can rightfully demand access to data flowing through Huawei and (telecoms firm) ZTE systems.
‘Why would anyone grant such power to a regime that has already grossly violated cyberspace?’
Huawei does not spy for China, founder says
Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei on Tuesday rejected claims his company is used by the Chinese government to spy and said he missed his daughter, who is being held by Canadian authorities, the Financial Times newspaper reported.
Ren Zhengfei spoke in a rare meeting with foreign reporters as Huawei Technologies Ltd., China’s first global tech brand, tries to protect its access to global telecom carriers that are investing heavily in next-generation technology.
Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer, was detained in Canada last month at the request of U.S. authorities who allege she misled banks about the company’s control of a firm operating in Iran.
‘I still love my country, I support the Communist party, but I will never do anything to harm any country in the world,’ he said, adding he missed his daughter ‘very much’.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is shown around the offices of Huawei Technologies Co Ltd by Ren Zhengfei, president of Huawei, in London, Britain October 21, 2015
Ren’s comments were the 74-year-old former military engineer’s most direct public response to accusations the world’s biggest maker of telecom network gear is controlled by the ruling Communist Party or is required to facilitate Chinese spying.
The United States, Australia, Japan and some other governments have imposed curbs on use of its technology over such concerns.
‘We would definitely say no to such a request,’ Ren said when asked how the company would respond to a government demand for confidential information about a foreign customer.
Asked whether Huawei would challenge such an order in court, Ren chuckled and said it would be up to Chinese authorities to ‘file litigation.’
Huawei is facing heightened scrutiny as phone carriers prepare to roll out fifth-generation technology in which the company is a leading competitor.
5G is designed to support a vast expansion of networks to serve medical devices, self-driving cars and other technology. That increases the cost of potential security failures and has prompted governments increasingly to treat telecoms communications networks as strategic assets.
The company’s image suffered a new blow last week when Polish authorities announced one of its Chinese employees was arrested on spying charges. Huawei announced it fired the employee and said the allegations had nothing to do with the company.
Ren said Huawei has no research cooperation with the ruling party’s military wing, the PLA. He said the company has no dedicated unit for military sales and he knew of no purchases of civilian technology by the PLA.