By Michael Carroll
Huawei boss lays into US over security scrutiny
Rotating Huawei chairman Guo Ping toyed with his keynote audience, initially making light of recent US scrutiny of the vendor’s security credentials, before turning the attention to the country’s own controversial data gathering practices.
“There has never been more interest in Huawei. We must be doing something right”, was his opening gambit, before he focused on how the company’s heavy investment in R&D has paid off in terms of delivering a leading position in 5G technology.
However, Guo noted that the next-generation technology was a double-edged sword, with recognition of Huawei’s achievements offset by, and perhaps helping to generate, the security speculation.
“We can create powerful, simple and intelligent 5G networks for carriers. Huawei is leading in 5G globally, but we understand innovation is nothing without security.”
Guo aimed his remarks squarely at the US, which has driven the majority of speculation over Huawei’s security credentials. The country has pushed for international governments to follow its lead by banning Chinese equipment vendors from key 5G infrastructure deployments.
“Prism, Prism on the wall, who’s the most trustworthy of them all” he asked, referring to a US National Security Agency (NSA) programme which collected data from internet providers and that only came to light after NSA contractor Edward Snowden blew the whistle.
“Let me say this as clearly as possible: Huawei has…never built backdoors, and we will never allow anyone to do so in our equipment. We take this responsibility very seriously.”
Guo argued Huawei has fulfilled its obligations in terms of security, noting that securing user data and information requires a collaborative approach from equipment vendors, mobile operators and standards bodies. “With 5G we have made a lot of progress over 4G and we can proudly say that 5G is safer than 4G.”