Huawei to U.S.: I'm Ready for My Examination, Doctor

Published on February 25, 2011
by John Paczkowski

In an open letter published today, telecommunications equipment maker Huawei called upon the U.S. government to conduct a formal probe into “misperceptions” that it is backed by the Chinese government and lacks respect for intellectual property rights.

“The allegation that Huawei somehow poses a threat to the national security of the United States has centered on a mistaken belief that our company can use our technology to steal confidential information in the United States or launch network attacks on entities in the U.S at a specific time,” Huawei Chariman Ken Hu wrote. “There is no evidence that Huawei has violated any security rules….If the United States government has any real concerns of this nature about Huawei, we would like to clearly understand those concerns, and whether they relate to the past or future development of our company….We sincerely hope that the United States government will carry out a formal investigation on any concerns it may have about Huawei.”

A brazen move for Huawei, perhaps even a measure of last resort. But after the events of the past few years, why not? The company’s efforts to gain a foothold in the U.S. market have been thwarted time and again by national-security concerns. In 2008 such anxieties forced it to abandon a $2.2 billion deal to acquire network equipment vendor 3Com. And just days ago they foiled its $2 million deal to acquire the assets of 3Leaf Systems.

So why not call the U.S. government’s bluff on concerns that it’s a threat to national security? Certainly, it obliterates U.S. calls for transparency and goes a long way towards resolving the trust issues plaguing the company in the States. And it puts Washington in a conflicted position: Either disclose the evidence it has against Huawei that’s keeping the company out of the market, or admit that there isn’t any.

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