The founder of the Chinese manufacturer Huawei, Ren Zhengfei, has spoken with the global chief security officer at the company about claims that technology in its mobile phones may have the potential to be used in cyber-espionage for the Chinese government.
In a blog posted by the chief security officer, John Suffolk, reveal that regaining the US and Europe’s trust is high on the company’s agenda. The post includes a statement allegedly from Zhengfei, saying: “we are determined to make internal adjustments to ensure that our equipment is the most secure, transparent, high-quality equipment in the world”.
The recent report that landed on David Cameron’s desk this week accusing Huawei of dealings with the Chinese Army and Government has led to suggestions that the Chinese manufacturer might be blacklisted from the UK. However, the consequences of this outcome would be huge: Huawei supplies the 4G technology for Everything Everywhere (EE), and currently has plans to extend contracts with companies such as O2, Virgin Media, Vodafone and 3.
So are these allegations a demonstration of America’s continued suspicion of China? Or is there truth in some of the claims? Speaking in June, Zhengfei publically announced the future of Huawei’s growing investments in Russia, demonstrating that the company finds the Russian market far more hospitable than the US market. Surely this has only increased America’s paranoia, bringing back memories from its Cold War history?
What is clear, however, is that both Huawei and UK companies have a lot to lose if trust between the two countries is not repaired soon.
Read more about the potential for Huawei to be blacklisted in the UK.