Saturday, June 6, 2020

China’s Huawei says it doesn’t interfere in public policy

BY VICTOR BAATWENG

Chinese tech giant ÔÇô Huawei has been under intense scrutiny around the world in recent months amid fear that it is a global security threat.

Most of the concerns surrounding the tech giant relate to its perceived links to the Chinese state.

During the just ended global Analyst Summit held in Shenzhen ÔÇô China, the Chinese company debunked these fears which it says is not based on any substantial evidence.

One after the other, the company’s executives strenuously denies links with the Chinese government.

This is despite a research paper jointly written by Donald Clarke of George Washington University and Christopher Balding of Fulbright University Vietnam which assert that the company may ultimately be controlled by the Chinese government.

On the eve of the just ended Global Analysts summit, Huawei dismissed the academics claim at a press conference in Shenzhen.

The latest spat over ownership and control marks another twist in the road as Huawei seeks to fight off accusations that its gear poses a global security risk. The US has fgone as far as urging countries to reconsider including the Chinese giant in their 5G network infrastructure plans. 

In response to questions from journalists during the tour of the company’s headquarters in Shenzhen, Huawei’s International Media Relations – Joe Kelly said the company would fire any employee who implements intelligence backdoors.

He added, “We simply provide technology, we do not prescribe public policy”.

For his part, Guo Ping – rotating chairman of the company, said none of its products have technological back doors or nor does it have the capability to access a device without the knowledge of the user.

GLOBAL DOMINANCE GROWING

Given the dominant position the Chinese tech company has already built in most markets, precisely the newly launched fifth generation (5G) wireless technology, the US-led campaign against Huawei may do just a little harm.

Figures provided on the company’s annual report released at the summit shows that the Shenzhen-based company has since joined the ranks of other successful multinational tech giants like its rival – Apple that have soared past the $100 billion benchmark.

The report shows that its sales revenue for 2018 sat at $107 billion up 19.5 percent year-on-year.

In response to a question from Sunday Standard on whether the company is winning the battle on accusations levelled against Huawei, Hong-Eng Koh ÔÇô global chief public safety scientist at Huawei described the series of allegations as “geo-political”.

“This is not an issue of engineering. There is no evidence on the allegations and that is why we are getting more contracts. This has given us free publicity”.

Currently Huawei is reported to be selling more telecommunications equipment than any other company in the world.

Back in Botswana, Huawei has been engaged by the Botswana Police for the installation of surveillance cameras in the capital Gaborone under the safer city project.

Due to this relation, Botswana Police Commissioner Keabetswe Makgophe was amongst the attendants of the Shenzhen global analysts’ summit. The forum discussed the importance of connectivity and intelligence as enterprises and governments look to speed their transition to digital.

Speaking to Sunday Standard on the side-lines of the summit, Makgophe hailed the project indicating adding that he hopes that other government departments who need similar technological services will catch up.

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