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Huawei uses Davos to defend itself

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Huawei Chairman Liang Hua has turned up at the World Economic Forum jamboree in Davos to defend his company over security concerns.

Addressing widespread allegations that Huawei is under pressure to collude with the Chinese government, Liang said “We operate our business globally, and in every country we fully comply with local laws and regulations,” according to Reuters. “We don’t see any evidence … to say that Huawei is not safe. Cybersecurity is a common challenge. It is not an issue about any single company.”

To show how open and transparent Huawei is Liang apparently invited foreign officials to visit Huawei’s labs. It’s not clear what that will achieve, however, as they’re hardly going to leave any potentially incriminating stuff lying about the place. On the flip side it’s hard to see what else Huawei can do to convince the rest of the world that its gear doesn’t constitute a security threat.

Liang also addressed the matter of Huawei’s CFO, who is currently stuck in Canada on bail, waiting to see if the US is going to get around to applying for her extradition on charges of violating US sanctions. Understandably he wants them to get a move on.

Meanwhile the BBC is reporting that Liang had also used the event to imply Huawei might just not bother with countries that are giving it a hard time and only go where it’s welcome. If Huawei faced further obstacles to doing business “…we would transfer the technology partnership to countries where we are welcomed and where we can have collaboration with,” he is quoted as saying.

That seems like a slightly redundant statement as it’s already being banned from participating in some of the infrastructure of those countries, so maybe he’s saying Huawei would pull out entirely. If so that threat would appear to be a bit of an own-goal as it would serve to illustrate how disruptive Huawei could be to the markets in question if it feels like it.

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