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Huawei poised to spend billions to fix its bad security reputation
- In a rare show of openness from the secretive company, Huawei held a large press event at its Dongguan offices.
- During this press conference, Huawei announced that it will spend $2 billion over the next five years on updating its security infrastructure.
- The conference and funds are likely to help sway the opinion that Huawei is heavily influenced by the Chinese government and that its products potentially include “back doors” for Chinese spying.
At a recent press conference in Dongguan, China, smartphone and network equipment manufacturer Huawei declared that it will invest $2 billion over the next five years into updating the company’s security infrastructure, via Reuters.
The press conference was a rare show of openness from the highly-secretive company, in which about two dozen international reporters were treated to a tour of the inner R&D labs at a Huawei campus.
Over the past year, Huawei has been in numerous headlines related to its security. Many international governments — most prominently the United States — consider Huawei products to be a security threat due to the perceived notion that the company is heavily influenced by the Chinese government. Many politicians, military leaders, and other policymakers fear that Huawei equipment could contain “back doors” which would potentially allow the Chinese government to spy on the networks of other countries.
In response to this widely-believed (yet mostly unproven) notion, many countries are refusing to use Huawei equipment for state activities. These countries so far definitively include the United States, Australia, and New Zealand, with both Japan and France rumored to be joining them soon.
However, Huawei has long disputed these allegations, calling them false and baseless. Now, it seems, the company is ready to invest heavily in swaying the world from this opinion.
“We think any concerns or allegations on security at Huawei should be based on factual evidence,” Huawei’s rotating chairman Ken Hu said. “Without factual evidence, we don’t accept and we oppose those allegations.”
In the United States, the purchase of Huawei networking equipment is banned, and no Huawei smartphones are officially sold. The U.S. is also using its sphere of influence to ask other countries to also ban the use of Huawei products. Most recently, the approval of the T-Mobile-Sprint merger involved U.S. representatives asking foreign companies to not use Huawei equipment in order to get the merger approved.