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Huawei Warns Ban on 5G Technology would Harm American Workers

In the 5G debate, Huawei has voiced its willingness to stake the company's continued success on its commitment to security

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huawei, 5G
People visit Huawei's booth at an exhibition during the World Intelligence Congress in Tianjin, China, May 16, 2019. VOA

One day after the United States effectively banned Chinese telecom titan Huawei from building next-generation “5G” mobile networks in the United States, the company warned the move would harm American workers.

“It will do significant harm to the American companies with which Huawei does business,” the company said, and “affect tens of thousands of American jobs.”

The company added it would quickly “find a resolution” to the ban and work to “mitigate” its impact.

On Wednesday, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order that bars American companies from using telecommunications equipment made by companies that pose a national security risk.

The order, which declares a national emergency, is the first step toward formalizing a ban on doing business with Huawei. The United States also warned other countries about Huawei’s national security risks.

Huawei has been making extraordinary pledges to win over its critics and dispel allegations that it is a security threat. The company has said it will quit its business if forced to spy on its customers and its company chairman Liang Hua has offered to sign “no spy” agreements as well.

Speaking through an interpreter during a visit to London, Liang said Huawei is willing “to commit ourselves to making our equipment meet the no-spy, no-backdoors standard.”

It is unclear what Liang means by “no-spy, no-backdoors” since Huawei, like all technology companies, requires users to sign agreements acknowledging that the company may share their personal information if required by local authorities.

Most technology companies, such as Google and Facebook, disclose these government information requests in regular public reports. The companies explain when they comply with the government requests and when they challenge them in court.

Sharing data with Beijing?

There is no information about what data Huawei hands over to Beijing authorities. If Chinese officials determine a matter involves “state secrets” or a criminal investigation, officials can legally justify intercepting any communication. Critics say Beijing defines “state secrets” so loosely that it can cover virtually anything.

In his comments to reporters, Liang says Huawei does not act on behalf of China’s government in any international market.

According to Reuters, he also denies that China’s laws require companies to “collect foreign intelligence for the government or plant back doors for the government.” Liang added that Huawei is also committed to following the laws and regulations of every country where it does business.

huawei, 5g technology
FILE – Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, is shown around the offices of Chinese tech firm Huawei technologies by its President Ren Zhengfei in London during his state visit, Oct. 21, 2015. VOA

 

Independent business or state organ?

Huawei says it has signed 40 contracts to build 5G networks, more than 20 of which are in Europe. It has already shipped 70,000 base stations for installation, all to locations outside of China. Base stations are a key component of the infrastructure needed to build the new network.

Huawei spokesperson Joe Kelly that maintaining the trust of its customers is key to the company’s continued success.

“Today, with 4 billion people around the world [using our products], at the scale at which we operate, if we were installing back doors and taking data, our carriers would be aware, they would see it for themselves and then they would stop doing business with us,” he said. In the 5G debate, Huawei has voiced its willingness to stake the company’s continued success on its commitment to security.

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U.S. officials have suggested that if countries choose to trust Huawei for their 5G network, Washington may reassess sharing information with them. The executive order that was signed by President Trump on Wednesday not only paves the way for a formal ban on Huawei from building networks in the United States.

According to the Commerce Department, Huawei and 70 other affiliates will be added to what is called an “Entity List,” which will make it more difficult for the company and other entities to buy parts and components from U.S. businesses. (VOA)

Next Story

Huawei Unveils its 5G Training Centre in UK: Report

Before Friday’s official unveiling of the training centre, it has been on a trial run for the past few months, with some engineers already being trained in the facility

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china, 5G
FILE - A woman stands at the booth of Huawei featuring 5G technology at the PT Expo in Beijing, China, Sept. 28, 2018. VOA

Chinese smartphone giant Huawei unveiled its 5G Birmingham training centre here to ensure that relevant 5G training is in place to meet current and future information and communications technology (ICT) needs in Britain.

The new centre has the capacity to train 20 people at a time, with courses being tailored to meet training requirements.

A typical course will last five days and will cover an introduction to 5G technology, principles of modern network engineering and hands-on practical installation of 5G network equipment, according to Huawei, Xinhua news agency reported on Friday.

Once fully operational, the objective is for the centre to train upwards of 1,000 network engineers per year on the latest 5G technology, the company said.

huawei
FILE – A man uses his smartphone outside of a shop selling Huawei products at a shopping mall in Beijing, May 29, 2019. VOA

In the UK, “there’s no shortage of political will to deliver 5G, there’s no shortage of commercial wish for it. There are some particular specific problems like a shortage of engineers, which we do need to address,”, said Sir Andrew Cahn, non-executive director of Huawei UK.

“That’s an issue mainly of government policy, making sure that we have the right people coming out of universities and colleges, but it’s also for companies to deal with and that’s what Huawei is doing while Huawei is recognising that there are particular skills needed and so we’re going to provide a training centre to upscale engineers in 5G,” said Cahn.

Also Read: Microsoft Extends Security Updates for Windows 7 for Free for Voting Systems

Before Friday’s official unveiling of the training centre, it has been on a trial run for the past few months, with some engineers already being trained in the facility.

Ian Ward, Birmingham City Council leader, said: “5G talent and knowledge are essential for further growth and Huawei’s 5G training centre has already produced 157 5G-ready engineers since the first graduations took place in June this year.” (IANS)