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Huawei accuses US of orchestrating geopolitical campaign against it

File photo: Huawei logo at a shopping mall in Shanghai, China. Photograph:( Reuters )

Agencia EFE Beijing, China Feb 15, 2019, 04.56 PM (IST)

One of Huawei's three rotating chairmen accused the United States of creating a geopolitical campaign against the Chinese company to persuade other countries not to use its products, the official daily China Daily reported Friday.

Xu Zhijun criticized the US at a press conference in Shenzhen, accusing Washington of carrying out a "coordinated, tactical geopolitical campaign" against Huawei.

He also said that the current discussions around 5G technology - of which Huawei is one of the main promoters - revolve around politics and questioned the US’ motives.

"Some say that because these countries are using Huawei equipment, it makes it harder for US agencies to obtain these countries' data," Xu added.

His statements come after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made an Eastern European tour where he warned about the growing presence of Huawei in the region.

During his visit, Pompeo warned US allies about deploying the Chinese company's products, saying those that do so would make it difficult for the US to partner with.

Xu also said that Huawei will invest more than $2 billion over the next five years to improve the cybersecurity of its equipment, including rewriting code, as an additional step to increase the confidence of foreign firms.

At the end of last month, the US Department of Justice formally accused Huawei, two affiliated companies and its chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, of 13 counts of fraud and conspiracy to bypass sanctions on Iran.

Huawei has been the subject of constant scrutiny by the US government which has banned the company from installing its telecommunications equipment in important networks of the country over concerns that they can be used to spy on the US.

The governments of Australia and New Zealand have also banned the installation of Huawei’s 5G equipment, while Canada is reviewing its relationship with the firm and the UK has asked the company to fix problems that pose risks to the network.

Huawei, which is the world's largest manufacturer of telecommunications equipment and the second-largest smartphone maker, claimed that it posed no threat to US security and added that the company was operating independently of the government of China.

Story highlights

Xu Zhijun said that the current discussions around 5G technology - of which Huawei is one of the main promoters - revolve around politics and questioned the US’ motives.