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US government shuns Huawei over spying fears

Chinese firm has no place in new national wireless network
Tue Oct 11 2011, 14:26

CHINESE NETWORKING FIRM Huawei is unlikely to form part of a US national wireless network for emergency services after the US government blocked its bid over spying fears.

The firm was rebuffed because of "national security concerns", according to a representative for the US Commerce Department, who told the Daily Beast web site of the US government block.

"[Huawei] will not be taking part in the building of America's interoperable wireless emergency network for first responders due to U.S. government national-security concerns," said Commerce Department spokesman Kevin Griffis.

Griffis did not go into any more detail, but it is likely that the US is concerned that, because Huawei is a Chinese company, it could also be a spy and install bugs into its hardware.

The firm denied this, saying that concerns about spying had no basis. "Given that to the best of Huawei's knowledge neither the Commerce Department nor any other agency of the U.S. government has conducted any audits of our equipment, such a determination seems utterly capricious," said William Plummer, Huawei's VP for external relations.

"Due to our heritage in China - where all of our competitors also conduct R&D and code software and build solutions - Huawei's business activities in the U.S. have been repeatedly and unfairly challenged due to vague supposed security concerns that have never been substantiated."

Huawei is courting international markets and has enlisted IBM to help the firm sell its tablets, smartphones and cloud computing services to potential customers. µ


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