Huawei representative defends company's integrity and safety

The company has an excellent cyber-security record, said Mr Abraham Liu, Huawei's vice-president for the European region, with its devices being approved after going through strict reviews by multiple regulators and operators.
The company has an excellent cyber-security record, said Mr Abraham Liu, Huawei's vice-president for the European region, with its devices being approved after going through strict reviews by multiple regulators and operators.PHOTO: AFP

BRUSSELS (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - In one of the strongest public remarks ever, a senior representative of Chinese tech company Huawei on Thursday night (Feb 7) rebutted fear-mongering against the company.

In a ballroom in Brussels packed with well over 100 mostly European guests, Huawei's envoy to the European Union institutions launched into a robust defence of the technology giant.

"Recently, Huawei has been under constant attack by some countries and politicians. We are shocked, or sometimes feel amused, by those ungrounded and senseless allegations," said Mr Abraham Liu, Huawei's vice-president for the European region and chief representative to the EU institutions.

"For example, yesterday, the US ambassador to the European Union, Mr (Gordon) Sondland, said (that) someone in Beijing (could) remotely run a certain car off the road on 5G network and kill the person that's in it. This is an insult to people's intelligence, let alone the technological experts across the world," Mr Liu said.

"Excluding Huawei from the market doesn't mean the network is safe. For example, since Huawei's equipment is not used in the US networks, is the US having the most secure network? The answer is no."

The company has an excellent cyber-security record, Mr Liu said, with its devices being approved after going through strict reviews by multiple regulators and operators.

Huawei's partners in Europe include big-name telecoms operators such as Deutsche Telekom, British Telecom, Vodafone, Orange, Proximus and others.

These partners "have publicly endorsed their trust in Huawei. I applaud these sensible approaches", Mr Liu said.

"Cyber security should remain a technical issue, instead of an ideological issue. Because technical issues can always be resolved through the right solutions, while an ideological issue can not," he said.

Certain Western governments and media outlets have consistently cast doubt over Huawei's ownership and governance.

Mr Liu made it crystal clear that "Huawei is a 100 per cent employee-owned private enterprise", adding: "If we want to pursue our commercial success, we must follow our own business ethics. We have never harmed the interests of any customer or nation."

Huawei has more than 12,000 employees in Europe, over 70 per cent of whom are hired locally, Mr Liu said. In 2018, the company procured goods and services worth US$6.3 billion (S$8.5 billion) from Europe.

"For Huawei, Europe has become our second home," he said. "Our success is Europe's success. Our loss would be Europe's loss."

"We are always willing to accept the supervision and suggestions of all European governments, customers and partners. Although Huawei has never had any serious cyber-security incidents in the past, there is still room for improvement with our software engineering capabilities for example," Mr Liu said.

Huawei has put forward an enhancement programme to strengthen software engineering, which will allocate US$2 billion within the five coming years. In addition, the company will open a cyber-security centre in Brussels next month.

Huawei hopes to demonstrate a more transparent way that "we are part of the solution, not part of the problem", Mr Liu said.

"In the past 18 years, Huawei has been bringing the latest technologies, investment, research and development, partnership as well as healthy competition to Europe.

"There is a famous saying that 'I never knew an early-rising, hard-working, prudent, and strictly honest man who complained of bad luck.' In Huawei, we believe the same. Complaints will not solve the issue. By working closely with our European partners, we are creating a better future for all of us," Mr Liu said at the end of his speech, to a round of applause from the audience.