Huawei fires back at House report: 'Customers know and trust us'

Huawei fires back at House report: 'Customers know and trust us'

Summary: Just as Huawei plots its U.S. expansion, a House committee nails the company and tells companies to avoid using the tech vendor.


Huawei has fired back at the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence report telling U.S. companies to refrain from using the Chinese technology company's software and hardware.

The House report, which was noted on Sunday as a roadblock to Huawei's plan to expand in the U.S., took aim at the company as well as ZTE. Huawei battles with companies like Cisco in emerging markets, but plans to expand in the U.S.

In a statement, Huawei said that it opened up to the House committee, which "failed to provide clear information or evidence to substantiate the legitimacy of the Committee's concerns."

The House committee report nails Huawei as well as ZTE:

Despite hours of interviews, extensive and repeated document requests, a review of open-source information, and an open hearing with witnesses from both companies, the Committee remains unsatisfied with the level of cooperation and candor provided by each company. Neither company was willing to provide sufficient evidence to ameliorate the Committee’s concerns. Neither company was forthcoming with detailed information about its formal relationships or regulatory interaction with Chinese authorities. Neither company provided specific details about the precise role of each company’s Chinese Communist Party Committee. Furthermore, neither company provided detailed information about its operations in the United States. Huawei, in particular, failed to provide thorough information about its corporate structure, history, ownership, operations, financial arrangements, or management. Most importantly, neither company provided sufficient internal documentation or other evidence to support the limited answers they did provide to Committee investigators.

The upshot to Huawei's statement is that it is a global company with deployments around the world.

Huawei said:

Currently, the integrity of Huawei's operations and the quality and security of our products are world-proven across 140 countries around the world. They are deployed by over 500 operators and our products have served almost 3 billion people worldwide. These customers know and trust Huawei and they know our commitment to their company and to their customers who rely on them for their communications service. Huawei has introduced best practices of Western management to construct standardized and process-oriented operational management systems, including product development, supply chain management, financial management, human resources, and quality control. Huawei's annual financial reports are audited by KPMG.

The United States has become the world's largest economic entity in a short period of time due in large part to the open policy it has been implementing over the past 200 years. We believe that the United States will continue with this spirit. Huawei is no different from any start-up enterprises in Silicon Valley, and our growth and development relies very much on our entrepreneurial spirit, the commitment and hard work of our employees, as well as our unwavering dedication to innovation. Moving forward, we will continue to do the best we can to provide our customers with safe, convenient, and equal access to information and communications services.

What's unclear from here is whether Huawei can mount an offensive that can counter the perception laid out by the House committee. It remains to be seen if carriers and enterprises will trust Huawei in their data centers.

The bottom line here is that the House report is going to make selling very difficult for Huawei in developed markets. From the report:

The U.S. government must pay particular attention to products produced by companies with ties to regimes that present the highest and most advanced espionage threats to the U.S., such as China. Recent cyber-attacks often emanate from China, and even though precise attribution is a perennial challenge, the volume, scale, and sophistication often indicate state involvement. As the U.S.-China Commission explained in its unclassified report on China’s capabilities to conduct cyber warfare and computer network exploitation (CNE), actors in China seeking sensitive economic and national security information through malicious cyber operations often face little chance of being detected by their targets.

Finally, complicating this problem is the fact that Chinese telecommunications firms, such as Huawei and ZTE, are rapidly becoming dominant global players in the telecommunications market. In another industry, this development might not be particularly concerning. When those companies seek to control the market for sensitive equipment and infrastructure that could be used for spying and other malicious purposes, the lack of market diversity becomes a national concern for the United States and other countries. Of note, the United States is not the only country focusing on these concerns. Australia expressed similar concerns when it chose to ban Huawei from its national broadband infrastructure project. Great Britain has attempted to address the concerns by instituting an evaluation regime that limits Huawei’s access to the infrastructure and evaluates any Huawei equipment and software before they enter the infrastructure.

More: Don't trust Huawei and ZTE, US congressional committee warns | Cisco ends ZTE partnership over Iran probe | Huawei eyes India's tier-1 telcos for growth | Can Huawei crack the U.S. data center market? | 

Previously: CBS News: Chinese telecom giant eyed as security threat | CNET: Inside Huawei, the Chinese tech giant that's rattling nerves in DC | ZDNet: Huawei: We've been unfairly singled out | Life at Huawei's Shenzhen HQ: In pictures | Huawei gives IPO serious thought | Uganda orders probe into Huawei's fiber project | Huawei and Intel team up on server, cloud products | Huawei in cybersecurity pledge: 'We're not Chinese spies' | Huawei steps up expansion in Asia, EU | Huawei rails against Aus Govt 'vendor discrimination' | Despite NBN ban, Huawei reinvests profits into Australia

Topics: Networking, Data Centers, Security

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  • Trust the people

    Americans invented hacking. If there are security concerns with this company, by all means make them known, but leave it at that. If the devices are doing "off-label" things, some 12-year-old geek is going to find out.
    • hard to find

      When done well, hidden in firmware, chip sets and software or splitting up the "hack" in different parts of the system, these sorts of things are very hard to find, not easy, no matter what your age. Poorly done exploits are easier to find.
      Harry Hawk
    • size matters

      The problem would be, with their low prices, they get embedded in half our infrastructure, and sure some geek finds it but it's hard coded. So we have to dismantle or destroy half our infrastructure, which might be impossible by then. Or cost trillions.
      James Mooney
  • Well...

    Maybe if your company didn't operate under an oppresive dictatorship that runs gulags, people might have more trust in you.
    • Care to elaborate?

      Did you refer to Huawei or the US Congress? Or both.
      • Wow the fact that you even compared the two

        shows ignorance.
  • Expect Hacking

    The English government a few centuries ago had nearly every telegraph wire running through it's territory and despite all it's public statements that it would never spy it read every single telegram that came through..

    Most telecom equipment isn't secure. I had Cisco router, we disabled incoming (WAN) connections for remote admin; we tested it; remote access was still active; plus all the stories of customer not changing default passwords, Etc.

    Deep hidden in the kernel trapdoors, and other are very hard to find, because there isn't access to source code (and even then it's still a hard problem (e.g., the halting program applies).

    Given all that, I don't believe that any government (including the US) wouldn't take advantage of such an opportunity because opportunistic behavior seems to be the norm for governments (and most people).
    Harry Hawk
    • Expect Hacking

      This is nonsense, Cisco routers are as secure as you make them, you just didn't know what you are doing. Learn how to work with the control plane. Keep people who don't know what they are doing out and you are fine. General rule of thumb for a real router, if you are using a GUI, get out of it.
      Judge Fudge
    • Huawei fires back at House report: 'Customers know and trust us'

      nothing can be hidden even with silicon from prying eyes. tools are available now to reverse engineer anything under the sun. address and data buses can be monitored and de-compiled to reveal the innards of any system built on top of silicon... if the us govt. is concerned about security, all they have to do is hire a whiz kid (i mean literally a kid) and give him the proper tools to deconstruct anything built with software from outside the us. the fud against the chinese product is nonsense, every person who knows software, understand that nothing can be hidden and no hardware/software combination is unhackable. hacking incident in every facet of us economy built upon us technology is telling us something if we care to listen ...
  • Chinese Companies

    As the world knows, it is chinese first, everything and everyone else is 2nd. I know first hand how the chinese first reality is. Chinese are owned by the chinese government, no matter what they may want or what they may say. They do as the Chinese gov't tells them to. It is sad that our world is like that, but it is the harsh reality. The chinese people know no other way. It has been ingrained since day 1 of their birth. China is the #1 country in the world for hacking into foreign governments, fact. They are responsible for their currency being so low that they have stolen millions of jobs around the world, fact. The Chinese gov't cannot EVER be trusted when it comes to OUR national security, neither can Russia. FACT!
    • Huawei fires back at House report: 'Customers know and trust us'

      when the us govt. embarked on star wars technology, everybody followed. the reason there is govt. is for it to spearhead everything. no society will survive without any governance. you may not like them but social experiments are humanities greatest assets and liabilities. without them, we will never know that democracy is better than aristocracy and communism. so what china is doing is nothing of the ordinary. us did unshackled itself from the british grapplehold and succeded in building the greatest society that come to age. the chinese is using communism to free itself from its decadent past. look what happened to singapore as the closest example of what will happen to china next...
      • That does not mean that we should not respond to economic warfare

        When the government is skimming off the profits and using it to peddle influence in other Countries, it is an assault. Canada is getting this right now with natural resources being taken over and Chinese workers brought in. In the US it's been happening for a while with T-bills and land being purchased. They are exerting the economic will of China, not the individual companies.
  • As if Homeland security doesn't already spy on us...

    It is safer to assume that anything that leaves your physical home or your office is read by other than its intended recipient because it probably is.
    • You're right

      This is true. But we're talking about a dictatorial nation that has no great love for us, and will be in stiffer and stiffer competition for limited resources as their population expands. At some point we may have a showdown. Only then they'll click a switch and everything we own is dead in the water - from cell phones to satellites to aircraft carriers.
      James Mooney
      • Huawei fires back at House report: 'Customers know and trust us'

        @James Mooney
        you have to be physically present to flip the switch. get a grip!
  • Huawei ZTE and Chinese companies never respect or play by the basic rules

    Huawei ZTE and Chinese companies have no respect for their partners and customers at all. Executive management from 3Com, CwP and Accenture are our own worse enemies by helping these Chinese companies.
    Subpoena Cisco, Fujitsu Networks, American Superconductors and other companies to testify about their experiences with Chinese companies. Can you handle the truths?
  • On with the Great Sellout

    China is known throughout the world for Very aggressively backing its corporations and Huawei has very close ties with their military. I don't buy the "innocent" act. This is not really a free-market company.

    I'm not that much into security especially when it comes to thinly veiled attempts to suppress the Internet, but we do have to consider this.

    With only a tiny access to their system - probably a lousy flash drive - we managed to disable Iran's entire nuclear program with Stuxnet.

    Now imagine a not-the-friendliest government having access to our Entire infrastructure - civilian and military - with massive amounts of hardware and software. That's a lot more than a flash drive and it's just scary.
    James Mooney
  • distributed viruses

    Something I forgot to mention. If people think you could just analyze their software or hardware to make sure it was safe, a system of the size they envision can have distributed components. Each part could look safe, but contain a tiny portion of surreptitious code. Not enough to ID or even look suspicious. But once they're all networked together - WHAM!
    James Mooney
    • Huawei fires back at House report: 'Customers know and trust us'

      @James Mooney
      you are watching too much sci-fi movies ...
  • fair call

    I wouldnt trust any chinese tech firm
    Scarface Claw