Huawei Complains At US ‘Roadblock’ On Trade
US officials are unjustly blocking Huawei’s attempts to compete in the United States, a research paper has claimed
Chinese networking giant Huawei claims it is experiencing a chillier reception in the United States than in the UK – it has published a paper alleging that its business in the US is being blocked by false suspicions..
The claims were made in a research paper published on the US website of Huawei, ahead of its appearance before a public hearing of the US House of Representatives’ Intelligence Committee.
Written by Dan Steinbock, who according to Reuters is an authority on trade and investment and US-Chinese relations, the paper paints a picture of US suspicions about possible security threats posed by the Chinese company.
The paper makes clear that Huawei believes its path into the United States has been blocked by unsubstantiated “allegations based on allegations”. The paper begins with a quote about the McCarthy-era Communist witch-hunting in 1950s.
“During the past few years, unspecified allegations in the US have led to severe anti-market measures to block Huawei’s expansion efforts,” said the paper. “While Huawei employs 140,000 people worldwide, less than 1.3 percent of its personnel are in the US. In light of business potential, they translate to missed opportunities. The roadblock is not the American marketplace, but the US government. The question is why.”
The paper claimed that during the past decade, Huawei’s expansion efforts in the America have been repeatedly rebuffed by the US government. “Viewed from the US perspective, Huawei is currently perceived as a threat,” it said.
The paper made clear the frustration felt by the Chinese company and said that “if there is any substance to unstated allegations in Washington, these should be specified. In the absence of clearly stated and specified evidence, continued anti-market interventions in the case of Huawei are not in the US interest and do not represent US values.”
Huawei sought to distance itself from the paper, despite it being published on its US website. William Plummer, a spokesman in the United States for Huawei, told Reuters that the words in the paper belonged to Steinbock, and not the company.
The reception (or lack thereof) of Huawei in the United States stands in marked contrast to the United Kingdom.
Huawei has long been aware of allegations that it is a stooge for the Chinese government and military, and that it is a possible gateway for ongoing Chinese industrial espionage of Western technology. And the company has been working hard to dispell these allegations.
Earlier this week, Huawei confirmed a £1.3 billion investment in the UK. That came when Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei met with Prime Minister David Cameron, and pledged £650 million for its operations in the country and another £650 million in procurement over the next five years,
Huawei has been on something of a charm offensive in the UK for a while now in order to convince British authorities it can be trusted. In December 2010 for example, it established a Cyber Security Evaluation Centre in the UK. This Centre allows for its products and software to be examined and tested by potential purchasers.
And the Chinese company has employed a number of former British government employees over the last two years, many of whom work at the centre, including some from GCHQ. The biggest name signing was John Suffolk in August 2011. Suffolk was the former government CIO, and now runs global security for the company.
Yet despite this attempts to woe British authorities, it seems the company is also facing something of an uphill task on this side on the pond. In July a source close to the company told TechWeek Europe that Huawei was continuing to find it difficult to sell to the British government because of the vendor’s origins and connections in China.
And it should also be pointed that it is not just the United States where Huawei is having difficulties. In Australia for example it has been banned from supplying equipment for that country’s national broadband infrastructure.
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