Would Huawei spy for the Chinese government? That's a question that cost the telecom equipment provider plenty of money last year. After the US government said the company posed a national security risk, Huawei was forced to take its networking business elsewhere. Huawei has repeatedly denied the charges, but today it's issuing perhaps the most definitive denial yet. The company says it has never even been asked to spy on anyone.

In a new cybersecurity whitepaper (PDF) issued today by the company, Huawei deputy chairman of the board Ken Hu writes that Huawei has "never been asked to provide access to our technology, or provide any data or information on any citizen or organization" whatsoever. The full statement reads:

"We can confirm that we have never received any instructions or requests from any Government or their agencies to change our positions, policies, procedures, hardware, software or employment practices or anything else, other than suggestions to improve our end-to-end cyber security capability. We can confirm that we have never been asked to provide access to our technology, or provide any data or information on any citizen or organization to any Government, or their agencies."

While Huawei has previously gone to lengths to deny espionage allegations, and told The Verge that accusors should "put up" or "shut up" about such things, it appears that this is first time Huawei has done so since the US government's controversial PRISM surveillance program came to light.