Huawei shrugs off 90-day extension, urges US to stop ‘unjust treatment’

Huawei has largely dismissed a new 90-day extension by the Trump administration allowing US firms to continue doing business with the Chinese company as making little difference.
credit: Press Association

By Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a senior reporter at the Parliament Magazine

25 Nov 2019

In May, the US Commerce Department added Huawei to its “Entity List”, saying it was engaged in activities “contrary to US national security or foreign policy interests.”

Despite this, the US has now allowed the tech giant, the second-largest smartphone maker in the world, to purchase some American-made goods.

This aims to minimise disruption for Huawei customers, many of which operate networks in rural America.


However, in a statement to this website, a Huawei spokesman once again pressed the US to call a halt to the company's "unjust treatment."

He said, “Extending the Temporary General License won't have a substantial impact on Huawei's business either way. This decision does not change the fact that Huawei continues to be treated unfairly.”

“We have long held that the decision by the US Department of Commerce to add Huawei to the Entity List has caused more harm to the US than to Huawei. This has done significant economic harm to the American companies with which Huawei does business and has already disrupted collaboration and undermined the mutual trust on which the global supply chain depends.”

He added, “We call on the US government to put an end to this unjust treatment and remove Huawei from the Entity List.”

“Extending the Temporary General License won't have a substantial impact on Huawei's business either way. This decision does not change the fact that Huawei continues to be treated unfairly” Huawei spokesman

The company held a high-profile conference in Brussels last week, which sought to promote the potential benefits and advantages, both economic and societal, of 5G technology.

Huawei, meanwhile, also says it “utterly rejects the false claims” by Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison, the United States Representative to NATO, at the recent Fortune Global Forum 2019.

The company says Hutchison “repeated a number of allegations that are manifestly false” adding, “Huawei has not and will never plant backdoors. And we will never allow anyone else to do so in our equipment.”

The spokesman said, “Huawei leads on cybersecurity and has a clean track record without one single major data breach incident in the last 30 years. As Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei has underlined: rather than handing over customer data to a government, we will shut down the company.”

The US has cases pending against Huawei for allegedly stealing American intellectual property and the Trump administration has lobbied US allies to keep Huawei out of next-generation 5G telecommunications infrastructure.

Huawei has consistently strongly denied all the allegations.

The Trump administration put Huawei on a trade blacklist, citing national security concerns. Companies on the list are not allowed to receive shipments of US goods without a special license from the Commerce Department.

The latest US move comes with German Chancellor Angela Merkel coming under growing pressure to change her approach towards Huawei and restrict its involvement in the country’s 5G network.

The company wants to take a lead role in the roll out of 5G mobile telecoms network in Europe but a new report by ENISA, the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity, has raised fresh concerns about the security aspects involved in 5G.

ENISA, with the support of Member States, the European Commission and an expert group, published the extensive report on threats relating to 5G networks last week.

The agency does not name Huawei but says the report provides a “technical and more detailed view on the 5G architecture.”

ENISA’s executive director, Juhan Lepassaar, said, “The arrival of 5G networks brings numerous security challenges just as the technology from 1G to 4G did previously. This report will support stakeholders to carry out more detailed threat analyses and risk assessments focussed on particular elements of the 5G infrastructure to help understand their threat exposure.”

An ENISA spokesman said, “The scope of 5G certification schemes needs to be determined by the Commission with input from EU Member States and duly communicated to ENISA. ENISA will continue engaging on cybersecurity activities of 5G. Coordination with EU-wide activities will be key to the success of secure 5G practices.”

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