China's Huawei denies US compromised equipment security

BEIJING (AFP) - Chinese tech giant Huawei, which has long been dogged by security suspicions abroad, on Wednesday denied a report its telecommunications network equipment had been compromised by US spies.

There have been "no network incidents caused by security reasons", Huawei chief financial officer Cathy Meng told reporters.

Meng was asked specifically about a report late last month in the German magazine Der Spiegel that technology companies including Huawei had their products penetrated by the US National Security Agency (NSA).

"Those accusations are groundless and we do not agree with that," she said.

Der Spiegel cited what it said were internal NSA documents for its report.

Shenzhen-based Huawei has for years faced accusations that it is a potential security Trojan Horse due to perceived close links to the Chinese government, which it denies.

It has been barred from involvement in broadband projects in the United States and Australia over espionage fears.

Last month, Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain, where officials have welcomed Huawei investment, called for increased oversight of a cyber-security centre the company runs there, after lawmakers raised fears of a possible threat to national security.

Huawei supplies equipment to major British telecoms companies including BT, and channels phone calls and data around the country.

Chinese authorities have themselves been accused of large-scale cyber-espionage, while Beijing cites leaks by former American intelligence contractor Edward Snowden revealing mass US electronic surveillance programmes as evidence that the US is guilty of double standards on the issue.

Huawei was founded in 1987 by Mr Ren Zhengfei, who was an engineer in the People's Liberation Army.

Besides network equipment, it has moved into consumer electronics and is the world's third-largest seller of smartphones.

Huawei announced Wednesday that it expects global sales revenue last year to have reached as much as 240 billion yuan (S$50.4 billion), up eight per cent on 2012.

The company said it would release final 2013 results later this year.

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