Chinese Tech Giant Under International Scrutiny Pinky Promises Not To Spy On Everyone

Chris White | Energy Reporter

A Chinese company closely associated with Beijing said Tuesday it would sign a no-spy agreement with other countries to allay U.S. fears that the company conducts espionage for the Chinese government, Reuters reported.

“We are willing to sign no-spy agreements with governments, including the UK government, to commit ourselves to making our equipment meet the no-spy, no-backdoors standard,” Huawei chairman Liang Hua told reporters in London. Britain and other countries are determining to what extent it will allow the massive company to build out fifth generation mobile service.

“The security and resilience of the UK’s telecoms networks is of paramount importance, and we have strict controls for how Huawei equipment is currently deployed in the UK,” a British government spokesman told reporters. Liang, for his part, said his company, which is currently competing with U.S. company Qualcomm on 5G development, does not act on behalf of the Chinese government.

“Despite the fact Huawei has its headquarters in China, we are actually a globally operating company,” he said. “Where we are operating globally we are committed to be compliant with the locally applicable laws and regulations in that country. There are no Chinese laws requiring companies to collect intelligence from a foreign government or implant back doors for the government.”

The Trump administration, meanwhile, continues to pressure Britain and other allies to steer clear of Huawei. (RELATED: US Warns Germany To Steer Clear Of Huawei Or Pay A Stiff Price)

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters during a meeting with Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 13, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Allowing the participation of Huawei in Germany’s 5G project would mean the U.S. won’t be able to maintain the same level of cooperation with Germany’s security agencies, U.S. Ambassador Richard Grenell said in March. His comments were the first time the U.S. warned an ally that it faces recriminations for associating with Huawei.

The U.S. will continue sharing intelligence with Berlin but not at the same level and not with the same degree of transparency, according to a senior State Department official. “The Americans will assume that everything we share with Germany will end up with the Chinese,” the official told TheWSJ, referring to what would happen if Germany continues dealing with Huawei.

President Donald Trump is pushing U.S. telecommunications companies to blow past China. “I want 5G, and even 6G, technology in the United States as soon as possible. It is far more powerful, faster, and smarter than the current standard,” the president told his Twitter followers in February.

Huawei’s leadership is feeling the heat. Meng Wanzhou, the CFO of Huawei and daughter of the company’s founder, was arrested in December in Vancouver by the Canadian Justice Department. China warned Canada in December that it faces “severe consequences” if officials don’t release the executive.

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