Huawei has issued a furious denial of newspaper reports that claimed the Chinese networking vendor was being investigated by the Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) for links to Chinese political interests.
In a strongly worded letter issued this morning, the company's local managing director Guo Fulin said the reports first published in The Weekend Australian over the weekend were "totally without foundation and based purely on unsubstantiated allegations".
"The articles falsely accuse Huawei of engaging in espionage activities and offer no proof to support this charge. The articles also say that Huawei is currently being investigated by ASIO. We are not aware of any investigation," the executive wrote.
Huawei had met with ASIO recently, Fulin admitted, but said that the meeting was instigated by the company itself as part of a briefing it provides to all relevant stakeholders. In addition, the executive wrote, the company wanted to make sure ASIO was fully aware of its activities after previous similar articles by The Australian.
In December last year, the newspaper 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.
"Contrary to your articles, your readers should know that Huawei is 100 per cent employee-owned and no governments or government agencies have any involvement or ownership in our operations," Fulin said, adding Huawei had a policy of employee localisation in Australia.
The executive said Huawei was disappointed by what he described as the newspaper's "continued focus on unproven allegations that do a disservice" to the group's Australian workforce of several hundred.