Huawei does damage control in Europe
Huawei may produce impressive smartphones, but it is probably also the most controversial telecommunications provider in the world right now.
The big news of the week was that its CFO, Sabrina Meng Wanzhou, was detained this week in Canada for expedition to the United States on potential charges related to a 2016 sanction breach investigation. This brought the Chinese government to bat against Ottawa and Washington and has also complicated fragile trade relations even as Donald Trump and Xi Jinping are talking.
But the more insipid undertone may prove just as challenging to Huawei, perceived to be a cyberespionage arm of Beijing. It has been investigated for questionable behavior in the networks it supplies and has been discouraged or blocked from pursuing contracts for new infrastructure in Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
Reuters now reports that Huawei is making an effort to reclaim its reputation in the United Kingdom. It is spending $2 billion to fix network vulnerabilities laid out in a leaked GCHQ report from July — this includes the inability to check internal product codes and possible compromises from third-party components.
Across the English Channel, European Union tech commissioner Andrus Ansip said today that its member nations should be concerned about Huawei. The company responded by saying it was disappointing by the statement and that it rejects the notion of it being a security threat.
“Huawei has never been asked by any government to build any backdoors or interrupt any networks,” a statement reads, “and we would never tolerate such behavior by any of our staff.”