News of national security experts from the U.S. recently cautioned Americans from purchasing phones and other products from Huawei, noting the latter's alleged threat to consumers' privacy and the country's telecommunications infrastructure. In Britain, however, things seem to be moving in an opposite direction.
According to a report from FOX News, Huawei is slated to invest about US$4.2 billion in Great Britain over the next five years. The Chinese tech giant announcement came just days after British Prime Minister Theresa May met with Huawei Chairwoman Sun Yafang in Beijing, China. Interestingly, the U.S. and Great Britain have been allies when it comes to several key policies, though the issue regarding Huawei's potential security threat to the U.S. is something that the two countries are divided about, the report noted.
Back in 2012, Huawei was labeled a national security threat by a U.S. congressional report, noting that its equipment could enable China to spy and even disable the country's telecommunications networks. Earlier this month, top officials of some of the CIA, FBI, and the Defense Intelligence Agency said that Huawei, as well as fellow Chinese tech manufacturer ZTE, posed a threat to security and privacy of consumers.
The heads of the agency testified in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee and cautioned the public from buying phones and devices from the two companies, CNN reported. FBI Director Chris Wray stressed that the two companies, being "beholden to foreign governments," put at risk the telecommunications structure of the U.S.
"It provides the capacity to maliciously modify or steal information, and it provides the capacity to conduct undetected espionage," explained Wray.
Huawei, for its part, has since responded to the warning and allegations of the U.S. national security and intelligence leaders. "Huawei is aware of a range of U.S. government activities seemingly aimed at inhibiting Huawei's business in the U.S. market," said Huawei in a statement to CNBC.
"Huawei is trusted by governments and customers in 170 countries worldwide and poses no greater cybersecurity risk than any ICT vendor, sharing as we do common global supply chains and production capabilities," the company's statement went on to say.