February 25, 2011

Huawei Issues Invitation to US Authorities to Investigate Potential Security Threat


Huawei, a Chinese telecom equipment maker, has issued a public invitation to U.S. authorities. According to an Associated Press (News - Alert) report, the company is opening its doors to invite an investigation into its current practices.

Huawei (News - Alert) appears to be trying to dispel the rumors that the company is a threat to American national security.

The unusual appeal was made in a letter on the company’s website, following the announcement that Huawei would unwind its purchase of American computer company 3Leaf Systems. Huawei was unable to win approval from a U.S. security panel for the purchase.

The letter, which was signed by Huawei deputy chairman Ken Hu, stated that the company sincerely hopes that the U.S. government will carry out a formal investigation on any concerns it may have about Huawei.

One of the largest makers of network switching gear, Huawei reported sales of $28 billion in 2010. Despite this success, the company has been unable to gain a foothold in the U.S. to battle such rivals as Cisco Systems Inc.

The telecom equipment provider has rejected what it claims are untrue allegations regarding its ties to China’s military, improper Chinese government financial support or that the company is a threat to U.S. national security. The letter highlights that there is no evidence that Huawei has violated any security rules.

Much of the speculation around the company’s links to the People’s Liberation Army has been driven by the fact that Huawei was founded by a former Chinese military officer, Ren Zhengfei. The company, however, claims that it is owned by its employees and there is no military connection.

A congressional hearing in Washington last week focused in part on the issue and National Intelligence Director James Clapper suggested this case highlights the importance of ensuring that the U.S. industry is aware of potential security threats.

Huawei stressed in the letter that Zhengfei is just one of many CEOs around the world who have served in the military. To date, however, no one has actually offered any evidence to suggest that the company has been involved in any military technologies at any time in its existence.

The letter issued by the company stressed that Zhengfei served as a Chinese military engineer before he left the service in 1983. He spent the next few years working for an oil company before creating Huawei in 1987. He launched the organization with $2,500.

In other Huawei news, TMCnet recently reported that equipment and related services for new W-CDMA networks being developed by NII subsidiaries in Mexico and Brazil will be provided by Huawei.


Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf
TechZone360
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