updated 10:06 am EDT, Thu May 9, 2013
Founder Ren Zhengfei claims Huawei not connected to US security issues
The founder and president of Huawei has made a rare appearance in front of reporters to defend his company. Ren Zhengfei spoke out against claims made by the US government that it is a national security risk, due to apparent close ties with the Chinese government, and allegations that Huawei equipment could have allowed sensitive details to be passed to Chinese agencies.
"Huawei has no connection to the cyber-security issues the US has encountered in the past, current, and future," said Ren to reporters in New Zealand, according to Reuters. "Huawei equipment is almost non-existent in networks currently running in the US. We have never sold any key equipment to major US carriers, no have we sold any equipment to any US government agency."
The company has already responded to the allegations a number of times. Its most recent comment in April claimed the company was "not interested in the US market anymore," in response to a US House Intelligence Committee report.
US Representative Mike Rogers (R-Michigan) previously advised in October that US companies should "find another vendor if you care about your intellectual property, if you care about your consumers' privacy, and you care about the national security of the United States of America."
The press conference in New Zealand, where the company secured a contract to construct a 4G LTE network, is a rare occasion for Ren. Since Huawei's founding 26 years ago, Ren has stayed away from the press, which in part caused the company to have a reputation of being opaque. The appearance by Ren is an attempt to repair the company's reputation, by seemingly being more transparent, something that Ren claims he already is thanks to articles he wrote appearing on the Huawei website. In January, the chief financial officer and daughter of Ren, Cathy Meng, held her first press conference for Huawei's financial results for 2012, again as a bid to improve transparency.