Huawei's UK and Ireland chief security officer proclaimed yesterday the networking vendor has "no secrets", as he addressed potential concerns over its Chinese ownership.
Speaking at Huawei's UK and Ireland partner summit yesterday, David Francis admitted some partners' customers "might not be sure about the colour of the flag outside [Huawei's] headquarters".
"I'm here to tell you why you [partners] should have confidence in the security of Huawei product and services," Francis (pictured) said.
Huawei last year abandoned its ambitions to crack the US market after it and fellow Chinese vendor ZTE were banned from bidding for US government contracts due to concerns over espionage. And in the UK, certain government departments were last year reportedly instructed to stop using Huawei's videoconferencing systems in internal meetings.
But Francis stressed that not only is Huawei committed to openness and collaboration, it is also nonsensical to talk about any products in today's global supply chain as being Chinese, US or European.
"I work for Huawei; I've got a Huawei phone," he said. "It's a Chinese brand; it's made in China; 30 per cent of components in this phone come from China, 23 per cent from American companies, 20 per cent from Taiwan and the rest comes from around the world. I also carry an iPhone. On the back it says 'designed in California'. It's made in China, in a factory next to our headquarters in Shenzhen. I don't know if my 'American' phone is more Chinese than my 'Chinese' phone."
He added: "When we talk about security, we need to differentiate between real security, which is based on facts, evidence and analysis, and the illusion of security, which is whatever you fancy talking about in the pub."
Francis claimed Huawei – which is on an expansion drive in the UK enterprise market – was the first company to publicly publish how it addresses cybersecurity.
"We all attend conferences and you're guaranteed at the conference that someone will stand up and say, 'we need to start sharing information'. But then we put our coats on and leave and nothing is done. We're trying to break that cycle."
Francis added: "We are committed to working collaboratively with the industry and we are doing this by sharing information – no secrets – open, honest transparency."
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