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
"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.