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Huawei Called Snowden Revelations Controversial

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Huawei CEO claimed that 2013 Snowden revelations about the extent of the government surveillance have been both good and bad for businesses all over the world. Although the news didn’t have a big impact on Huawei’s growth, it did influence the relationships with the potential partners.

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The founders of the Chinese network and handset supplier include a former member of the Chinese Red Army. That’s why the company has been banned from network contracts in both the United States and Australia. American politicians are afraid that the systems Huawei provides could have “backdoors” making them vulnerable to state-run hackers.

However, it turned out that the NSA itself had stolen part of Huawei’s code used to control its exchanges. This instantly made the Chinese giant look like the victim rather than a malicious player. Even remaining outside the huge US market, Huawei is the 2nd biggest supplier of network systems in the world, following Ericsson and ahead of Nokia Siemens Networks.

Within the last year, Huawei’s revenues in the Americas fell by 1%, and it is the only geographic area where its revenues saw a decrease. In 2013, Huawei became the 3rd largest supplier of smartphones (the leaders, as you may have guessed, are Samsung and Apple). Now the company is focused on contracts to install 4G networks all over the world. Huawei claims to power over 2/3 of the 4G networks in place worldwide, being used by the British EE network along with NSN, and having won the contract to build out the 4G network for the largest carrier ever – China Mobile.

However, the security concerns have dogged Huawei as it has expanded abroad and started working significant contracts. For example, its first key foreign contract was with BT to provide a fixed-line network. This deal resulted in the calls for the source code to be reviewed for backdoors in 2013, although it had already been done ahead of the contract win.

The company believes that it was important for the industry to agree on standards for security. It seems to be so important for the industry that it has even paid for The Guardian reporters’ trip to China to deliver this message. The reporters promised to remain unbiased and confirmed that such standards would become even more important as networks turn into “software-defined networks” due to technical reasons.

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