Huawei open to sharing its 5G tech to allay security fears

Ren Zhengfei said other companies could modify its software as a way to appease the US

Huawei USA flag

Huawei's CEO has proposed selling its 5G expertise to a Western company as a way to ease US security fears.

Ren Zengfei said the potential buyer would also be able to modify the technology, including changing its software codes, to meet requirements.

The idea is to have flaws and alleged "back doors" removed without the involvement of Huawei and appease the concerns of the US government and its allies.

At the start of the year, Donald Trump's administration placed the Chinese tech giant on a blacklist of companies deemed to pose a risk to US national security, which technically barred US firms from buying Huawei technology.

The Trump administration has repeatedly expressed concerns over potential ties between Huawei and the Chinese government, which could potentially be used as a vehicle for industrial espionage in the countries in which the company operates - something which Huawei has repeatedly denied.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

However, Ren told The New York Times that Huawei is "open to sharing our 5G technologies and techniques with US companies so that they can build up their own 5G industry. That would create a balanced situation between China, the US and Europe," but adding that the US had to accept the Chinese firm at "some level for that to happen".

What's more, Ren said that any American firms interested can modify Huawei's 5G technologies to meet their security requirements - even change the software code.

What isn't clear at this stage is to what extent companies will be able to change the software code.

US companies are also still technically banned from purchasing products from Huawei, and so some backtracking from the US will need to happen in order to facilitate a deal.

Ren added that if the US "promises to change their irrational approach to Huawei, then we are open to a dialogue".

Advertisement - Article continues below

But, with the export blacklist set to take full effect in November, Huawei doesn't have much time to wait for an olive branch from Donald Trump. Companies such as Google, which supply Android, and Intel, which sells chips for Huawei's 5G networks, can no longer do business with them.

This is despite these companies also voicing support for Huawei. Microsoft president and chief legal officer Brad Smith said to Bloomberg Businessweek that the way the US government is treating the Chinese firm was "un-American'. He said that Microsoft has asked US regulators to explain the reason behind the ban.

"Oftentimes, what we get in response is, 'Well, if you knew what we knew, you would agree with us,'" he said. "And our answer is, 'Great, show us what you know so we can decide for ourselves. That's the way this country works.'"

Featured Resources

Digital Risk Report 2020

A global view into the impact of digital transformation on risk and security management

Download now

6 ways your business could suffer if you don’t backup Office 365

Office 365 makes it easy to lose valuable data regularly, unpredictably, unintentionally, and for good

Download now

Get the best out of your workforce

7 steps to unleashing their true potential with robotic process automation

Download now

8 digital best practices for IT professionals

Don't leave anything to chance when going digital

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/security/internet-security/354417/avast-and-avg-extensions-pulled-from-chrome
internet security

Avast and AVG extensions pulled from Chrome

19 Dec 2019
Visit/security/354156/google-confirms-android-cameras-can-be-hijacked-to-spy-on-you
Security

Google confirms Android cameras can be hijacked to spy on you

20 Nov 2019

Most Popular

Visit/mobile/28299/how-to-use-chromecast-without-wi-fi
Mobile

How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi

5 Feb 2020
Visit/operating-systems/27717/how-to-fix-a-stuck-windows-10-update
operating systems

How to fix a stuck Windows 10 update

12 Feb 2020
Visit/policy-legislation/data-protection/354814/google-to-shift-uk-user-data-to-the-us-post-brexit
data protection

Google to shift UK user data to the US post-Brexit

20 Feb 2020
Visit/security/cyber-security/354827/mcafee-researchers-trick-tesla-autopilot-with-a-strip-of-tape
cyber security

McAfee researchers trick Tesla autopilot with a strip of tape

21 Feb 2020