US plans to grill Huawei again

Huawei is to be grilled by the US over concerns that it presents a threat to national security, as the communications giant positions itself for more business in the west.

The US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee is to meet with executives from Huawei, as well as representatives from rival ZTE, to scrutinise plans to expand their businesses, according to Bloomberg.  US lawmakers are concerned that either firm could pose a potential security risk in supplying communications equipment to the Chinese firms, particularly with fears over the supposed government background of privately owned Huawei. The investigation will wrap up in early October.

Huawei and ZTE, respectively the second and fourth largest telecommunications firms in the world, will be required to provide extensive information with regards to their internal corporate structures, and any connections to the Chinese government.

The two companies have long been viewed with suspicion by the US, and the public hearing could go some way to breaking the ice and allowing them to do more business in the country. A move by Huawei to buy US firm 3Leaf was stonewalled following suspicion from domestic authorities.

However, Huawei has been vocal about its innocence, and in a paper called The Case for Huawei in America, the firm labelled security concerns “allegations based on allegations”, according to Reuters. A cover note on the paper referenced McCarthy-era reds-under-the-beds hysteria.

Huawei has had less trouble breaking into the UK market. Prime minister David Cameron yesterday “welcomed” the £1.5 billion investment in the UK, expanding upon an already established relationship. A year ago, Huawei also employed a former UK government security expert John Suffolk as head of its cyber security.