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Huawei Defends Itself Against Cyber-Security Charges

Shenzhen, China — Telecom network and cellphone supplier Huawei ripped into a House intelligence committee report that charged it and fellow Chinese supplier ZTE are national security threats.

“The committee appears to have been committed to a predetermined outcome,” Huawei charged in a statement. “We have to suspect that the only purpose of such a report is to impede competition and obstruct Chinese ICT [information and communications technology] companies from entering the U.S. market.”

The report addressed the two companies’ telecom infrastructure equipment, not handsets.

When a Huawei spokesman was asked whether his company would continue to sell handsets to U.S. carriers if its infrastructure business were significantly hampered by the U.S. government, he would say only that “Huawei is not precluded from any business in the U.S.”

The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence charged in a report today that Huawei and ZTE pose national security risks because their equipment could be used by the Chinese government to spy on the U.S government and U.S. businesses. The committee recommended that the U.S. block acquisitions of U.S. companies by the two and recommended that U.S. companies and carriers not buy equipment from them.

Huawei, however, charged that the committee “failed to provide clear information or evidence to substantiate the legitimacy of the committee’s concerns.” The committee’s report, Huawei said, “not only ignored our proven track record of network security in the United States and globally but also paid no attention to the large amount of facts that we have provided.” The report “employs many rumors and speculations to prove non-existent accusations,” Huawei charged.

During the past 11 months, Huawei said it cooperated with the committee “in an open and transparent manner and engaged in good faith interaction.” Top management carried out multiple rounds of face-to-face meetings with committee members in Washington, Hong Kong and Shenzhen, said the company. The private, closely held company also said it opened up its R&D area, training center and manufacturing center to the committee and provided “a wealth of documentation,” including the names of members of the board of directors, the supervisory board, shareholding employees, and information “about our funding resources and financial operations.”

The company, which is the second largest provider of telecom equipment in the world, contended that its “customers and partners are fully aware that this report cannot change the fact that the safety and integrity of Huawei’s solutions are well-recognized by the industry.” The company does 70 percent of its business outside China.