Adams hits back at Greens, Huawei responds to US Congressional report
"It's the knee-jerk reaction to Japanese car imports all over again. They beat their US counterparts on cost and quality, and Huawei is doing the same."Featured comment
Communications and IT Minister Amy Adams has hit back at the Green Party, which last night called on the government to review Huawei's participation in its Ultrafast Broadband and Rural Broadband Initiative projects after a damning US Congress Intelligence Committee report.
“The Green Party is painting a very misleading view of the situation," Ms Adams says.
"The fact is that Huawei is involved in telecommunications in more than 100 countries and hundreds of millions of people use their technology.
“It is incorrect to suggest that the government is not active in regards to minimising potential cyber threats. However, I am not prepared to have a public discussion about our security strategies. It has been a long-standing tradition that governments do not comment on intelligence matters or individual companies.
“However, it is important to make clear that the government takes network security seriously and is committed to working with operators and suppliers to protect the integrity and confidentiality of New Zealand’s telecommunications networks.”
Labour's David Cunliffe, standing in for regular ICT spokeswoman Clare Curran, who is in the US, says key questions remained: Why was Huawei blocked from bidding on Australia's National Broadband Network, and why has the New Zealand government not followed suit?
A full independent inquiry should be held, he says.
Meanwhile, Huawei NZ has forwarded NBR ONLINE a statement in response to the Intelligence Committee report.
In short, it says the committee failed to produce evidence to back up its claims (see full statement below)
Huawei also received a degree of backing from Telecommunications Users Association head Paul Brislen.
"I'm seeing mostly economic warfare mixed in with some good ole yellow peril and a smattering of technophobia," he says.
"Huawei has been trying to get in to the top US telcos for some time and hasn’t yet landed a major contract. Having said that, it is one of the biggest providers of equipment to the tier 2 market in the US.
"Globally, Huawei is used by 45 of the top 50 telcos, according to CNN, and has driven down the cost of equipment in most parts of the world considerably," the Tuanz boss told NBR.
"Locally, Huawei is helping build the UFB and is behind the 2Degrees Mobile network so we are faced with a choice of either switching off 2D (or banning it from any and all government contracts) and kicking Huawei out of the UFB build (and banning ZTE from entering) on the say-so of a US congressional panel which seems to have little proof of anything or just getting on with our lives. I would recommend the latter.
"At one time or another almost all the major network builders have faced this kind of pressure – Alcatel was fined for bribing officials, Lucent had ties with senior US officials, Nokia-Siemens is being sued in Iran for building backdoor access into its mobile network.
"The choice is not whether we allow them to spy on us or not, but who we allow to spy."
RAW DATA: Huawei statement
Statement regarding HPSCI’s report
The United States is a country ruled by law, where all charges and allegations should be based on solid evidence and facts. The report conducted by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (the Committee), which took 11 months to complete, failed to provide clear information or evidence to substantiate the legitimacy of the committee’s concerns.
We had hoped to ensure that the investigation would be fact-based and objective in its review of our business activities and the global issue of cyber-security. Over the past 11 months, Huawei has cooperated with the committee in an open and transparent manner, and engaged in good faith interaction: our top management team carried out multiple rounds of face-to-face communication with the committee members in Washington DC, Hong Kong, and Shenzhen; we opened our R&D area, training center, and manufacturing center to the committee and offered a wealth of documentation, including the list of members of the board of birectors and the supervisory board over the past 10 years, and the annual sales data since our establishment in 1987; we also made the list of our shareholding employees, the shares they hold, as well as information about our funding resources and financial operations available to the committee. We adopted a transparent approach in providing this information to ensure the results are fact-based and unbiased, hoping the committee’s objective review of our business activities and the global cyber security issue can clarify the misperception of Huawei.
However, despite our best effort, the committee appears to have been committed to a predetermined outcome.
The ranking member of the Committee stated at the hearing that the investigation by the committee “is not political jousting or trade protectionism masquerading as national security”. Unfortunately, the committee’s report not only ignored our proven track record of network security in the United States and globally, but also paid no attention to the large amount of facts that we have provided. Even before the investigation began, the chairman of the committee advocated to media that “I stand by my caution to the American business community about engaging Huawei technology until we can fully determine their motives.
The report released by the committee today employs many rumors and speculations to prove non-existent accusations. This report does not address the challenges faced by the ICT industry. Almost every ICT firm is conducting R&D, software coding and production activities globally; they share the same supply chain, and the challenges on network security are beyond a company or a country. The committee’s report completely ignored this fact. We have to suspect that the only purpose of such a report is to impede competition and obstruct Chinese ICT companies from entering the US market.
Huawei is a global Fortune 500 company owned by its employees. For the past 25 years, we have held an upstanding record. Our customers and partners are fully aware that this report cannot change the fact that the safety and integrity of Huawei's solutions are well-recognised by the industry. 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 standardardized 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.
Huawei is committed to being a long-term investor in the US market, to providing innovative products and service for our U.S. customers and consumers, and to being a responsible investor, tax payer and corporate citizen.
Huawei is a partner to the US high-tech industry. Since launching our North America operations in 2001, Huawei has purchased more than USD 30 billion in technologies and services from 280 American suppliers. This active local procurement helps create jobs in the US high tech industry and contribute to the development of local communities. Any interference and obstacles to free competition will eventually harm the entire industry chain.
We have been emphasizing that Huawei is committed to cooperating transparently with any and all government agencies who wish to carry out an open and impartial dialogue about our company and the products and services that have made us successful internationally.
- We, like many companies in our industry, have benefited from free and fair trade and the process of globalisation, and we will continue to push, in the United States and internationally, for open markets, cooperative innovation, and equal opportunity for all companies.