Huawei has made headlines in regards to a security scandal. Many countries are of the opinion that the company’s handsets pose a major threat to the networks.
So far, the US and Australia have banned Huawei from providing equipment for their 5G networks, while Canada’s relationship with the firm is under review. There is also concern among European telecoms network operators, with some considering removing Huawei’s equipment. BT, for example, has removed Huawei equipment from key parts of its 4G network. At the same time, the UK has expressed concerns, with the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) asking Huawei to fix these issues.
Meanwhile, the daughter of Huawei’s founder, Meng Wanzhou was arrested last year by Canadian authorities, after the US government alleged that she was assisting Huawei in dodging US sanctions on Iran. She and the firm deny any wrongdoing. Huawei phones were banned by major networks including Verizon and AT&T after being labeled a security threat.
Timothy Heath, Senior International Defense research analyst at the RAND Corporation said in an interview, “The threat is legitimate, given the murky links between Huawei and Chinese authorities. The Chinese state has the authority to demand tech companies like Huawei turn over useful information or provide access to the communications and technologies owned and sold by Huawei. Chinese authorities can use this information and access to facilitate espionage or cyber attacks over Huawei communications technologies. Consumer tech devices like phones that rely on Huawei technologies will be easier for Chinese authorities to penetrate and exploit for these reasons.”
In response to these accusations, a Huawei spokesperson said: “We are a private company owned by employees and comply with applicable laws and regulations. If we are forced to maliciously violate the trust of our customers, we would rather shut the company down. We are committed to developing the most innovative and secure technology, to bring digital to every person, home and organization for a fully connected, intelligent world. We will make all sacrifices – at any cost – to defend security without hurting any country, any organization, or any individual. This is our highest agenda.”
During a keynote, Huawei chairman Guo Ping denied that the firm spies on behalf of it’s country’s government. It has “no evidence, nothing”, he said.”Carriers are responsible for the security operations of their own networks. Carriers can prevent outside attacks.”
The company owned about 16% of the market share, but in light of this cyber espionage scandal, the figure is likely to fall. Analysts and techies will now be on the lookout to see how the company combats this scandal.