Huawei denies 'ludicrous' espionage claims

Huawei denies 'ludicrous' espionage claims

Summary: Chinese networking vendor Huawei has slammed as "ludicrous and inaccurate" claims that it had links to the Chinese military and government that could cause security problems for the National Broadband Network.


Chinese networking vendor Huawei has slammed as "ludicrous and inaccurate" claims that it had links to the Chinese military and government that could cause security problems for the National Broadband Network.

The Australian newspaper today reported that security agencies would "closely examine" any Huawei involvement in Optus' bid to build the National Broadband Network due to international concerns about the company's links with Chinese authorities.

But in a statement released this afternoon under the name of its vice director of public relations for the Asia-Pacific region, Thong Poh Wah, Huawei, which supplies equipment to a number of Australian telcos and other companies, denied the claims. The company employs 230 staff in Australia.

"Huawei is privately held and 100 per cent owned by its employees, administered through an employee share ownership plan," the company said. "No other organisations, including the government, army or business hold stakes in Huawei."

Referring to The Australian's report that Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei had a military background, Huawei pointed out prior military service was common amongst many North American and European business leaders.

"Huawei only manufactures telecom equipment for commercial public use and its main customers include 35 of the world's top 50 telecom operators," the company said, noting sales related to the Chinese government accounted for only 0.5 per cent of its income in the 2007 year.

"Before Huawei can work with those companies, it must meet a strict auditing process that reviews the company's strategic planning, process, management system, quality control and human resource," the statement said.

Shadow Communications Minister Nick Minchin today claimed The Australian's report contained "potentially very concerning revelations". Australians needed to be assured the NBN was free of any potential for cyber-espionage, he said.

Topics: NBN, Broadband, Hardware, China

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  • Minchin... go sit in a corner!

    bloody hell if anyone should be cooking up conspiracy theories it should be about why Minchin is the only MP always jumping up and down for telstra's interests, i smell a rat, or at the very least "free dinners"

    also...all shares owned by their employee's... thats an intersting business model!
  • I like it..

    "also...all shares owned by their employee's... thats an intersting business model!"

    I didn't know that, interesting business model though, certainly encourages the employees to work, and encourages them to kick the rear of their colleagues that don't.
  • more worried about israel

    I am more worried about Israel becoming a greater part of our communications network per the Acacia bid than I am about China
  • Get over it!

    Your displaying Xenophobia.

    If you think we're lily white, think again. The American CIA & DOD has more weird projects than any country on the face of the earth, that don't fit with other countries best interests.
    When you have nut cases like the Bush family running the wealthiest and strongest country in the world it's a recipe for world disaster.

    Private & Multinational companies in the USA all participate with the DOD & CIA in clandestine activities, which aren't always in our best interests.
  • Ludicrous is right.

    I think ludicrous was putting it nicely. Does our government have no tact? Minchin should be reprimanded for this. I don't think it's appropriate to use ones influence to make baseless claims that have likely damaged the reputation of a perfectly legit company and come close to being a grave insult against the Chinese government. Are we going to pretend far greater acts of espionage aren't committed every single day by other countries? That includes us.
  • The usual suspects

    The Jooos and the Yanks. Typical.
  • Telstra also encourage such participation

    Should we also be wary of Telstra and their employees?


    Or, perhaps, we can take this news as no more than a "storm in a tea cup", a storm that would advantage a particular Telco in Australia?
  • lol yup!

    need to be aware of those darned telstra employees, specially the 1's who are in generaly anti telstra, orders straight from the top for me to right my diatribe =P lol,

    And what optus should point out, is that huawei was investigated... and cleared, none of a particular aussie telcos suppliers have had a congressional hearing saying that there not a risk.... lol

    Absouletly valid point. Huawei is a company that cannot be trusted to run an incumbent national network. No western country use Huawei's equipment has their national provider for the very reason that it is a company that comes out of China and one that is not entirely transparent. To suggest that Huawei has no links to the Chinese government is rubbish, EVERY company in China has links to the government,whether you like it or not, because in China to do business means you deal WITH the government, this is something westerners dont understand. Apart also from the fact that executives in China have to be a member of its upper class, which means a lineage of certain political influence. To argue that its a private company simply because its owned entirely by its 'employees' isnt saying much at all in China, of course Huawei's PR assumes that the typical Western interpretation would imply that its a publically listed company?

    Apart from that, Huawei typically manufactors equipment that is not as high in standard to its western counterparts, which is why it is cheap, and its accounting for such a large share of the market comes more from carriers trying to cut costs and compromising their principles rather than go with their gold medal vendors.

    Optus have not confirmed that they will use Huawei, but they are their hardware provider of choice, particuarly in low cost DSLAMS. This goes well with the Optus mindset in NBN, wham, bam, thankyou ma'am. Quick build with cheap equipment, rake in the profits, who cares about the rest, who cares if it works. It shows their lack of interest in building a world class NBN, but to just build an NBN. You just have to look at their subloop unbundling for example to show that they are more interested in getting their gear out there on the streets than actually for Australia to have a network that is the envy of the world, like NextG, of course made by Ericsson. Additionally, I doubt that Singtel would be much interested in the national security of Australia, why should they care? But Im sure that Telstra million plus shareholders would be. Telstras partner Alcatel Lucent have the highest level security rating, and Telstra will build a network that we can at least be proud of.

    Im no Telstra fan, dont get me wrong, I hate Telstra, but I hate Optus more, and more so in their lies and their consistent reluctant to invest in Australia, and when they do, they want to sell us this cheap second rate Chinese crap, and rake in the cash, get lost SingTel.

    blah blah blah, that is just as much FUD as Minchin was spreading. Huawei has the largest worldwide market share of IP DSLAMS (, they didn't reach that point by being cheap low standard rubbish, they reached that point by being cheaper than the competitors and being able to do the job just as efficiently.

    Nor would they reach that point by being an untrustworthy company, sure it's been pointed out that Chinese have ties to espionage, but honestly name me a country that doesn't and I'll call you a liar.

    As for you comments on Telstra, they are out of the bid, it's done, over, they didn't meet the requirements. All discussions on the proposed (or assumed) hardware to be used by the NBN bidders should only include the NBN bidders, not other companies.

    Get a clue, first do some research about Chinese corporations. And yes they sell a lot of DSLAMS because they are cheap, and they are inferior. The NBN will be done and dusted by next year, can some people really be this stupid to think that any company apart from Telstra has the ability to deliver what the government requires? Aparently...

    "Get a clue, first do some research about Chinese corporations."

    I did, I even provided a link. All you've provided is an assumption that having an Huawei DSLAM as part of the NBN is going to breach national security and cause all those Chinese espionage spy people to know all your secrets. That's just FUD, as I've said in another article, Optus currently use Huawei DSLAMS, the DOD use Optus. If our defense department doesn't have any security issues with them why do you?

    "can some people really be this stupid to think that any company apart from Telstra has the ability to deliver what the government requires? Aparently.."

    I don't think this has really sunk in for you yet. Telstra is out of the bid, they failed to meet the requirements and the federal government has removed them from contention.

    Whether or not you think Telstra is the only viable company that can do it is irrelevant since they are out of the running. The national bidders are Optus, Axia and Acacia, that's it, no Telstra Why you're still bringing up Telstra as the only company that can do it when even the pitiful 12 page submission they did make explicitly stated they couldn't do it is beyond me.