International Business & Economy What's next for beleaguered smartphone giant Huawei?

What’s next for beleaguered smartphone giant Huawei?




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The chairman of Huawei spoke to reporters in Shenzhen, China on December 19, claiming that the second-biggest smartphone company in the world is actually a victim of “ideology and geopolitics.”

Speaking to reporters from Asia, Europe, and the United States for the first time at Huawei Technologies Ltd.’s headquarters since the arrest of the company’s CFO Meng Wanzhou in Canada on December 1, Hu said that the United States and other governments need to show proof that Huawei is indeed the security risk as has been claimed.

He also said that if the company is to be excluded from fifth-generation networks in countries such as Australia, consumers would pay the price due to higher costs. Moreover, he also said it would be a hindrance to technological innovation.

Hu claimed, “If you have proof or evidence, it should be made known. Maybe not to Huawei and maybe not to the public, but to telecom operators, because they are the ones that buy Huawei.

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There has never been any evidence that our equipment poses a security threat.

We have never accepted requests from any government to damage the networks or business of any of our customers.”

Huawei has been barred from 5G networks in Australia and New Zealand. Japan, the US, and Taiwan have banned Huawei from their countries, while Germany, the United Kingdom, and France are said to be rethinking Huawei’s role in 5G technology in their countries.

According to the Deputy Head at the International Cyber Policy Centre (ICPC) from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), Danielle Cave, Huawei’s troubles could be seen even before Meng’s arrest.

She said, “This is a landmark moment for Huawei, and the writing has been on the wall for a while now and this year that writing has been in bol. From here on out Huawei will struggle to make headway in developed countries that care about national security and cybersecurity.

However, the concerns being articulated about Huawei, and about some of its peers, won’t be felt as strongly in developing countries whose national security concerns will be less important than their need for affordable and reliable telecommunications and technology equipment that will help connect their populations.”

Hu insists that cybersecurity and the company’s autonomy from the Chinese government are important to Huawei. “Huawei’s record on security is clean, despite the efforts in some markets to create fear about Huawei. We are proud to say that our customers continue to trust us.”

However, China’s law makes this difficult, particularly the national intelligence law passed last year, which indicate that the state has plans to oblige companies and individuals into doing intelligence work, willingly or unwillingly.

Cave told Business Insider that one part of the law “actually compels organizations and individuals ‘to support, provide assistance and cooperate in national intelligence work, and guard the secrecy of any national intelligence work that they are aware.

And at one point, she believed, Beijing will have to take a decision. “What is more important? Espionage or commerce? Because unfortunately, the two don’t go hand in hand.”

Read related: Inside Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou’s Crazy Rich life in Canada

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