So it seems to wearing made in China is fine, or eating out of plates made there does not require too much afterthought. However, using their information infrastructure and equipment to send messages from A to B – requires an ideological leap of faith for some.
Well, it’s not quite time to chuck away the image of China simply being the world’s factory of cheap and good, where excellent margins to those willing to leverage the Chinese model are the key draw. Today, they’re moving up the food chain and it will be a mistake not to take notice.
The land down under is seeing an increasing number of rising China’s foreign vanguard of products tested with the Aussie market prior to going global. This even includes the Great Wall make of SUV and Utility Vehicles.
Rewind – a year back Huawei was barred from tendering for Australia’s National Broadband Network based on intelligence and cyber espionage concerns. See China hits back at NBN bid rejection (The Age, March 29, 2012)
Fast forward a year and check out how Huawei has responds in the 7.5min video accompanying the article – with ABC’s China correspondent Stephen McDonell.
– Over in the UK – Huawei has become embedded into UK telecoms infrastructure [Financial Times] – June 6, 2013
– Can it look any more ominous than this (see photo below)? Inside The Chinese Company America Can’t Trust [Time Magazine] – April 15, 2013
That said, it is probably useful to get a clearer picture of what Huawei does:
To read a perspective of Huawei Its annual revenue is more than $35 billion. It is the world’s largest telecom equipment maker. Huawei components feature in networks serving one-third of the world’s population… Huawei is not really a manufacturing company. It makes some of its most sensitive equipment, but it contracts out most routine manufacturing. Just under half – 70,000 – of its staff are directly involved in research and development. It has sought 55,000 patents and been granted 30,000 of them. Thirty thousand of its employees worldwide are non-Chinese. It is really a giant R&D, design, marketing and brand company. A questionable risk to security – Huawei an extraordinary creation (The Australian, May 18, 2013)
See also from WC //
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Chinese telco Huawei tries to shake off spy image after NBN ban
By China correspondent Stephen McDonell
Source – ABC News Australia, published June 10, 2013
The Chinese company blocked from working on Australia’s National Broadband Network has set its sights on shaking off its image as a stalking horse for Chinese spies.
Telecommunications giant Huawei was banned from tendering for the network as Australia followed the lead of a similar government ban in the United States due to espionage fears.
The company, based in southern China’s Shenzhen province, has refuted claims by the US House Intelligence Committee that the company could potentially build so-called “backdoors” into the likes of the NBN to allow for Chinese eavesdropping.
The committee claimed Huawei could even shut down such a system remotely during a time of war.
But the company’s corporate senior vice president, Chen Lifang, says that even if her company wanted to use its technology to secretly eavesdrop, it could not.
“It’s impossible for Huawei to install any backdoors or vulnerabilities into our products. This is not only verified by ourselves but also third parties,” she said.
“No-one has ever found any security breaches within Huawei’s products. Never. And it’s impossible for us to do it.”
The company, which also makes smart phones, modems and other consumer goods, has pointed out that while it was prohibited from working on the NBN, competitors who are rolling out the NBN have been producing key components in China.
Coalition to review decision to ban Huawei from NBN
Huawei may have been prohibited from building the NBN, but Britain’s spies have already cleared the company to built its broadband network.
In Australia, Huawei is supplying mobile phone infrastructure for Telstra, Optus and Vodafone, causing observers to question why this is allowed but building the NBN is not.
All this has led to Coalition communication spokesman Malcolm Turnbull to pledge that it will reconsider the Huawei NBN ban if it wins office.
“We’ll review it in light of the full security briefing that is only available to government,” he said.
Despite the controversy surrounding Huawei, its growth has been huge with 2012 profits up by 33 per cent.
The company only started selling smartphones two years ago.
Last year it sold 32 million of them and this year it is forecast to reach 60 million.
Ms Lifang says contract bans in Australia and the US would not affect its clients.
“Our clients won’t lost their faith in Huawei because of some politicians’ accusations about us,” she said.
“We’ve been working with our customers for 25 years and this mutual trust won’t be destroyed by some bad words by just one or two people.”