Huawei is going on the offensive against politicians and critics, claiming that they've subjected the company to racist treatment and slander because of its Chinese heritage. Both the United States and the United Kingdom have subjected Huawei — a major manufacturer of networking equipment — to additional scrutiny over concerns that it could covertly assist state-sponsored hacking from China. There's been a lot of talk, but Huawei doesn't think there's been a lot of evidence. "Someone says they got some proof of some sort of threat? Okay," William Plummer, vice president of external affairs at Huawei, said in a statement to The Verge. "Then put up. Or shut up."
"This is tired nonsense we've been hearing for years."
Earlier today, former CIA head Michael Hayden told The Australian Financial Review that he believes Huawei supplies information to the Chinese government. While he isn't certain of how much detail the company shares, he believes that it at least includes "intimate and extensive knowledge of the foreign telecommunications systems it is involved with."
Huawei has already been forced to make some concessions over allegations of this sort. It’s backed away from supplying the US with networking equipment, and it’s now being investigated in England over the very same concerns. "This is tired nonsense we’ve been hearing for years," Plummer said. "This is politically-inspired and racist corporate defamation, nothing more."
Neither government is yet to publicly identify a definite link between Huawei and Chinese hackers, but cybersecurity fears continue to rise. American newspapers and universities have been under attack from hackers aboard, which has made improving digital security a high priority for lawmakers. Huawei feels that it's been used as an easy target for shifting the blame — and now it sounds as though it thinks that the inquiries have finally gone too far. The company's full statement is below.
This is tired nonsense we’ve been hearing for years, trotted out anew as a flimsy bright and shiny object to distract attention from the very real compromising of global networks and information that has been exposed in recent weeks. Misdirecting and slandering Huawei may feel okay because the company is Chinese-based – no harm, no foul, right? Wrong. Huawei is a world-proven multinational across 150 global markets that supports scores and scores of American livelihoods, and thousands more, indirectly, through $6 billion a year in procurements from American suppliers. Someone says they got some proof of some sort of threat? Okay. Then put up. Or shut up. Lacking proof in terms of the former, which seems clearly the case, this is politically-inspired and racist corporate defamation, nothing more.