It is not a secret, Chinese telecommunication and technology companies are fast rising to becomes global giants. That means their infrastructures and influence is spreading fast in and outside China. One of which is Huawei, which has for long been a giant in the telecommunication infrastructure space, and in the recent past become one of the global leading smartphone makers.
Beijing cyber espionage claims
However, Huawei like most Chinese firms, have to fight the tag of being branded a State-run organization. That means, governments around the world who are concerned with cyber espionage operations run by Beijing tend to look at Huawei and other Chinese firms with suspicious eyes.
The United States has already banned Huawei alongside two other Chinese firms – ZTE and XXX – from being contracted by local telecommunication companies to set up their communications infrastructure. As the situation currently stands, some security chiefs in the U.S. believe these Chinese firms offer hardware and software with backdoors that allow Beijing to conduct espionage activities. They also claim that the security of the same infrastructure can be easily compromised by other third parties with enough technical knowledge.
Western Government banning Chinese telecom infrastructure
There are also reports that the U.K and other European countries are mulling banning the use of Huawei telecommunication infrastructure in their countries over national security concerns. In a leak by people privy to Huawei internal workings, it is believed that the Chinese company has set aside $2 billion to go towards beefing the security for its global software systems.
A move necessitated out of the need to stop more countries from banning the use of the Huawei telecommunications infrastructures. The $2 billion will be used in making the infrastructure less vulnerable to hacking and snooping.
Thorough overhaul of the System
Huawei is said to be working on transforming its entire engineer software systems. And not just apply some one-off fix and workaround in response to increasing demand from companies and governments around the world.
Huawei is on the frontline of 5G Wireless Network race
For close to a decade now, Huawei has been positioning itself as a market leader in the next generation of wireless networks, 5G. The European market is on the cusp of ordering tens of billions of euros worth of 5G wireless network infrastructure.
However, there are stakeholders in the European market thinking of banning Huawei citing the same security concerns the U.S. did, and thus the company must address these issues. Especially since Europe is its biggest market after Asia, and losing that market could be detrimental.
This situation was further exacerbated on December 1, when Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer Wanzhou Meng, daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested in Canada following allegation the company had violated sanction policies against Iran. That arrest is sees as a small part in a grand tussle on trade between the U.S. and China.
Huawei to pitch new Software Security revamp before UK Cyber Security Authority
In a bid to assure the European markets its telecommunication infrastructure don’t have trojans and other spyware tools for Beijing. Key officials from Huawei are set to present detailed software revamp before the UK’s National Cyber Security Center before presenting the same to the public.
The U.S. seems to be leading a campaign to ban Huawei’s 5G network infrastructure, and so far, countries such as New Zealand and Australia have followed suite. The UK’s foreign intelligence body, the MI6, called upon the government to look keenly on whether Huawei should be banned from handling the country 5G wireless network installation.