UK: Chinese telecom giant isn't a cyber risk

UK: Chinese telecom giant isn't a cyber risk
© Getty Images

Chinese telecom giant Huawei is getting a clean bill of cybersecurity health from an independent British review board established to determine the security of the company’s technology.

Huawei has had trouble breaking into foreign markets, including the U.S., partly due to fears Beijing officials might be inserting bugs into the company’s technology to spy on overseas countries.

But the world’s largest second telecom equipment manufacturer is vital to running the British telecommunications network. The government established an oversight board to ensure China was not exploiting the company’s access to a critical network.


A year-long review determined "any risks to UK national security from Huawei’s involvement in the UK's critical networks have been sufficiently mitigated."

Huawei has previously issued its own white paper defending its robust cybersecurity practices. No country has ever asked it to help spy on another nation, Huawei said.

“We can confirm that we have never received any instructions or requests from any government or their agencies to change our positions, policies, procedures, hardware, software or employment practices or anything else, other than suggestions to improve our end-to-end cybersecurity capability,” the report reads.

Still, British lawmakers worried in 2013 that Huawei, founded by a former civil engineer for the Chinese military, should have been more thoroughly investigated before allowing it to make major deals with UK firms.

An oversight board was set up in early 2014 in response to these concerns, and concluded Huawei is not posing any national security threat to the UK.

U.S. lawmakers have expressed similar fears regarding Huawei.

A 2012 House Intelligence Committee report even warned companies against buying Huawei technology, arguing that it posed a national security threat.

Lawmakers said the company was uncooperative with investigations and unwilling to explain its relationship with the Chinese government.