Huawei defends its operations in UK parliament
'We stand naked in front of the world,' cybersecurity chief declares
Huawei has never been asked by China or any other government to "do anything untoward", the company’s head of cyber-security has told UK MPs, according to the BBC.
Answering questions from the Technology and Science Select Committee on the security of its equipment, and its links to the Chinese government, John Suffolk said Huawei welcomed outsiders to analyse its products and detect engineering or coding flaws.
"We stand naked in front of the world, but we would prefer to do that, because it enables us to improve our products," Suffolk declared. "We want people to find things, whether they find one or one thousand, we don't care. We are not embarrassed by what people find," he added.
The US has pressured allies to block Huawei - the world's largest maker of telecoms equipment - from participating in their 5G networks, saying the Chinese government could use its products for espionage.
MPs asked whether Huawei would be able to remotely access the UK's 5G mobile networks via its equipment.
In reply, Suffolk stressed that Huawei is a provider of telecommunications equipment to mobile network operators.
"We don't run networks, and because we don't run the network, we have no access to any of the data that is running across that network," he said.
He also explained that Huawei is only one of about 200 vendors who would be providing various different bits of equipment that would eventually make up a 5G network in the UK.
However, if an operator were to have a problem with Huawei equipment, a support centre based in Romania would be able to remotely access the equipment to fix the problem.
MPs enquired whether it would be possible for a 5G network to be used to track an individual user.
In response, Suffolk explained that mobile phone technology requires the mobile operator to constantly track a user's phone, in order to be able to connect them to the mobile network.
By that logic, the operator is constantly tracking all of its customers, all the time.
He also told MPs that only about 30% of the components in Huawei products are actually made by the company - the rest of the components are obtained from a global supply chain that Huawei closely monitors in order to prevent security breaches.