Huawei: UK ban 'misleading', based on 'inaccurate' data

Huawei: UK ban 'misleading', based on 'inaccurate' data

Summary: Huawei has dismissed the U.K government's ban on its videoconferencing equipment, due to concerns over the vendor's links to the Chinese government, as "misleading" and based on "inaccurate" information.

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Huawei has dismissed the U.K government's ban on its videoconferencing equipment, due to concerns over the vendor's links to the Chinese government, as "misleading" and based on "inaccurate" information. 

U.K. government departments including the Home Office, Ministry of Justice, and Crown Prosecution Service were reportedly instructed to stop using the systems during internal meetings amid concerns they could be embedded with tapping devices. 

According to a report by the U.K.'s Sunday Mirror, a memo was sent to the ministerial departments instructing them to refrain from using the equipment due to potential "vulnerabilities". It added that government ministers were acting on "specific intelligence" given out at a top-level briefing with instructions for all departments to stop using the equipment. 

Huawei in 2005 won a contract by British Telecom to roll out networking equipment for Britain's national infrastructure, and last year signed several contracts worth 125 million pounds (US$205.17 million). Following concerns raised by the U.S. government over security threats in deploying telecoms equipment manufactured by Chinese vendors, the U.K. initiated an investigation to "review the whole presence of Huawei" in its national infrastructure. The U.K. National Security Advisor last month called for tighter oversight of vendor's cybersecurity center in the country. Operated by its employees, the Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre analyzes equipment to identify potential security vulnerabilities and has examined over 30 types of products provided to U.K. customers.

The Australian government has also disallowed Huawei from bidding for government contracts. 

The Chinese IT giant has rebuked the latest move by the U.K. government, saying the ban was "misleading" and based on unsubstantiated information. "Our video conferencing equipment is based on global standards, so to suggest it is specifically open to abuse would be misleading," noted a statement from its U.K. office. "We are a private, employee-owned company, and we share the same goal as our customers--to raise the standard of cybersecurity and ensure technology benefits consumers."

A company spokesperson further noted in a South China Morning Post report that "inaccurate" media reports were being taken seriously and reiterated Huawei's stance that it had no close links with the Chinese government. "We are looking into the possibility some equipment might have been sold to these departments through a third-party, but we have not sold such devices directly," he added.

Citing industry analysts, a China Daily report Wednesday noted that the latest ban was unnecessary, especially since revelations by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden clearly demonstrated that cybersecurity threats were not dependent on equipment, but people's actions. 

Xiang Ligang, a Beijing-based telecom expert, said in the report: "Huawei has been shut out of the U.S. market for the same reason, but from the Edward Snowden case, we see that the U.S. government, which doesn't use Huawei's products, was monitoring their own citizens, foreign diplomats, and other countries' officials."

He Maochun, director of the Economy and Diplomacy Research Center at Tsinghua University, added that it was unjustified to drop Chinese networking products based on fear rather than facts. "Many Chinese telecom companies such as Lenovo, ZTE, and Huawei are treated unfairly in Western markets for similar reasons. And the cases are likely to appear when Chinese telecom products are entering their markets on a large scale," He said.

He added that Chinese companies should improve transparency on information security and encourage foreign markets to have more confidence in their products. "Industrial associations and the Chinese government should try to support the companies to pursue more legal measures to protect the rights they deserve," he noted.

Furious over the U.S. government's allegations, Huawei in April said it was no longer interested in the U.S market and was shifting its focus on expanding in Europe

Topics: Security, Government UK, Huawei

About

Eileen Yu began covering the IT industry when Asynchronous Transfer Mode was still hip and e-commerce was the new buzzword. Currently a freelance blogger and content specialist based in Singapore, she has over 16 years of industry experience with various publications including ZDNet, IDG, and Singapore Press Holdings.

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  • Huawei: UK ban 'misleading', based on 'inaccurate' data

    They would say that wouldn't they!
    gippsaus@...
  • lie lie lie

    The Chinese are such stupid liars:

    "Our video conferencing equipment is based on global standards, so to suggest it is specifically open to abuse would be misleading," "

    Adherence to standards doesn't prevent customization. Stupid lie.


    "A company spokesperson further noted in a South China Morning Post report that "inaccurate" media reports were being taken seriously and reiterated Huawei's stance that it had no close links with the Chinese government. ""


    They keep regurgitating this claim as if it's proven, but never prove it. Amounts to a stupid lie when you think the target audience will suddenly believe you.



    "We are looking into the possibility some equipment might have been sold to these departments through a third-party, but we have not sold such devices directly," he added.

    They made the same assertion about the HP gear they sold in Iran, flouting the UN sanctions.

    "we see that the U.S. government, which doesn't use Huawei's products, was monitoring their own citizens, foreign diplomats, and other countries' officials.""

    On the subject of CHINA, real kneeslapper.
    Stroyde
  • Actually US and UK is monitoring everyone instead of China. They thief!

    Stupid UK government. This is purely to make sure cisco, ericsson can have better market share. But this can not stop Huawei. Think about NSA, they are monitoring everyone, every where? This is not only have have backdoor in cisco/ericsson, but also have backdoor in Windows, Oracle database. Be careful about Dell and HP, your info will be shared with US government. And UK is keep playing stupid game as a little brother of US.
    stevenzyc