Huawei Tries To Dispel EU Concerns Over Cyber Threats Calling For Partnership With Europe

Huawei, the Chinese tech giant and the largest manufacturer of telecommunications equipment in the world, is promising to make Europe the world leader in next generation mobile networks even as the company attempts to allay fears about the company being a threat to national security and the risk to the cyber security for the region.

“Huawei has been a trusted partner in Europe for over 18 years now. It is one of our most important markets – we have grown together,” said Abraham Liu, Huawei’s representative to the European Union during a debate organized by four main political groups of the European Parliament recently.

“We have to find a ‘European way.’ So let’s do it together,” Liu said. “We plan to work with all of you in partnership to ease fears and create opportunities.”

The most advanced technologies of communication were offered to Europe by the company so that the entire continent could move quickly to the fourth industrial revolution, Liu said, and the technologies could include artificial intelligence, self-driving cars and supercomputers.

“This year alone we announced that we are investing millions in the UK, Germany, Romania, France and Spain, and just last month we unveiled a 70 million Euro Research and Development investment in Ireland. It is Europe’s values of openness, innovation, and the rule of law that have made it the powerhouse of mobile communications that it is today. We at Huawei share these values,” he said.

Huawei has been facing severe opposition from the United States for more than a year and has be put in the so called ‘entity list’ of the US Commerce Department in May this year which effectively prevented the company from doing any business in the US as well as with any American company. The US alleged that Huawei could allow Chinese spying agencies to use backdoors in its telecom equipment to spy on Western countries. The US subsequently also urged the European Union and its allies in Europe to ban Huawei especially from participating in the construction of 5G networks for mobile connectivity which is the latest and next generation technology in of mobile communication.

Huawei has repeatedly refuted all charges against it placed by the US and some other Western countries.

The lawmakers of the European Union had refrained for naming China and Huawei as risks to security in a report published earlier in October, even while issuing warnings for an increase in cyber-attacks by state-backed entities.

Liu said the report was “quite objective” and said “different stakeholders need to talk at the same table.”

“And the introduction of the EU General Data Protection Regulation is an excellent initiative reinforcing the core European value of the protection of citizens’ privacy. We believe the model applied in GDPR can also be applied in cybersecurity, helping Europe to continue to be a leader in the 5G era,” Liu said.

In a positive note for Huawei, the government of Germany finalized rules for the build-out of 5G mobile networks this week and indicated that Huawei would not be excluded from bidding to participate in the construction of the 5G networks.

(Adapted from NDTV.com & Euractive.com)

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