Huawei says it won’t comply with China’s request for customer data

Huawei says it won’t comply with China’s request for customer data
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The founder of Huawei Technologies on Tuesday said the company would refuse to disclose its customers' data and information about their communications networks amid concerns the telecommunications giant might be used to spy for the Chinese government.

The Associated Press reported that Ren Zhengfei sought to put to rest allegations that the company is controlled by China's ruling Communist Party, and is used to aid in government spying. Such concerns have led the U.S., Australia and Japan to limit use of the company's technology, which is used in 5G phones.

Asked how the company would respond to a Chinese government demand for information about a foreign customer, Ren said, "We would definitely say no." 

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The AP reported that Ren laughed off a question about whether Huawei would challenge such a demand in court, saying it would be up to Chinese authorities to take that step.

Ren's pushback came a week after Polish authorities announced that one of Huawei's Chinese employees was arrested on spying charges, though Huawei maintained the allegations were not related to the company.

Huawei has been at the center of recent diplomatic tensions involving the U.S., Canada and China.

Canadian authorities last month detained Meng Wanzhou, an executive with Huawei Technologies. Meng's arrest reportedly came at the request of the U.S., which alleged that Huawei violated U.S. trade sanctions against Iran.

Within weeks of Meng's arrest, China had detained two Canadian citizens on suspicion of "engaging in activities that endanger the national security" of China. A third Canadian was detained and later released.