Late Sunday, a report surfaced from the US House Intelligence Committee, compiled after nearly a yearlong investigation, that said two Chinese telecom equipment makers "cannot be trusted" to be free of influence from Beijing and could be used to undermine US national security.
In its report, the House Intelligence Committee said that Chinese telecom giants Huawei and ZTE pose a security threat to the United States and should be barred from US contracts and acquisitions.
Shortly after, a China official urged Washington on Monday to "set aside prejudices" and respect the facts, and do things that will “benefit China-US economic cooperation instead of the contrary.”
On Monday afternoon, Huawei, which has held the focus of the investigation, responded with a lengthily statement, again defending its business practices and arguing that any allegations against the China-based firm should be based on solid evidence and facts.
The full statement from Huawei reads:
The United States is a country ruled by law, where all charges and allegations should be based on solid evidence and facts. The report conducted by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (the Committee), which took 11 months to complete, failed to provide clear information or evidence to substantiate the legitimacy of the Committee's concerns.
We had hoped to ensure that the investigation would be fact-based and objective in its review of our business activities and the global issue of cyber-security. Over the past 11 months, Huawei has cooperated with the Committee in an open and transparent manner, and engaged in good faith interaction: our top management team carried out multiple rounds of face-to-face communication with the Committee members in Washington D.C., Hong Kong, and Shenzhen; we opened our R&D area, training center, and manufacturing center to the Committee and offered a wealth of documentation, including the list of members of the Board of Directors and the Supervisory Board over the past 10 years, and the annual sales data since our establishment in 1987; we also made the list of our shareholding employees, the shares they hold, as well as information about our funding resources and financial operations available to the Committee. We adopted a transparent approach in providing this information to ensure the results are fact-based and unbiased, hoping the Committee's objective review of our business activities and the global cyber security issue can clarify the misperception of Huawei.
However, despite our best effort, the Committee appears to have been committed to a predetermined outcome.
The ranking member of the Committee stated at the hearing that the investigation by the committee "is not political jousting or trade protectionism masquerading as national security". Unfortunately, the Committee's report not only ignored our proven track record of network security in the United States and globally, but also paid no attention to the large amount of facts that we have provided. Even before the investigation began, the Chairman of the committee advocated to media that "I stand by my caution to the American business community about engaging Huawei technology until we can fully determine their motives".
The report released by the Committee today employs many rumors and speculations to prove non-existent accusations. This report does not address the challenges faced by the ICT industry. Almost every ICT firm is conducting R&D, software coding and production activities globally; they share the same supply chain, and the challenges on network security is beyond a company or a country. The Committee's report completely ignored this fact. We have to suspect that the only purpose of such a report is to impede competition and obstruct Chinese ICT companies from entering the US market.
Huawei is a global Fortune 500 company owned by its employees. For the past 25 years, we have held an upstanding record. Our customers and partners are fully aware that this report cannot change the fact that the safety and integrity of Huawei's solutions are well-recognized by the industry. Currently, the integrity of Huawei's operations and the quality and security of our products are world-proven across 140 countries around the world. They are deployed by over 500 operators and our products have served almost 3 billion people worldwide. These customers know and trust Huawei and they know our commitment to their company and to their customers who rely on them for their communications service. Huawei has introduced best practices of Western management to construct standardized and process-oriented operational management systems, including product development, supply chain management, financial management, human resources, and quality control. Huawei's annual financial reports are audited by KPMG.
The United States has become the world's largest economic entity in a short period of time due in large part to the open policy it has been implementing over the past 200 years. We believe that the United States will continue with this spirit. Huawei is no different from any start-up enterprises in Silicon Valley, and our growth and development relies very much on our entrepreneurial spirit, the commitment and hard work of our employees, as well as our unwavering dedication to innovation. Moving forward, we will continue to do the best we can to provide our customers with safe, convenient, and equal access to information and communications services.
Huawei is committed to being a long-term investor in the U.S. market, to providing innovative products and service for our U.S. customers and consumers, and to being a responsible investor, tax payer and corporate citizen. Huawei is a partner to the U.S. high-tech industry. Since launching our North America operations in 2001, Huawei has purchased more than USD 30 billion in technologies and services from 280 American suppliers. This active local procurement helps create jobs in the U.S.' high tech industry and contribute to the development of local communities. Any interference and obstacles to free competition will eventually harm the entire industry chain.
We have been emphasizing that Huawei is committed to cooperating transparently with any and all government agencies who wish to carry out an open and impartial dialogue about our company and the products and services that have made us successful internationally.
We, like many companies in our industry, have benefited from free and fair trade and the process of globalization, and we will continue to push, in the United States and internationally, for open markets, cooperative innovation, and equal opportunity for all companies.