US attack on Huawei makes it stronger

By Chen Qingqing in Warsaw Source:Global Times Published: 2019/3/7 22:18:41

Well-organized geopolitical campaign led by Washington set to fail

People visit Huawei's cyber security center in Brussels, Belgium, on Tuesday. Photo: Chen Qingqing/GT

US attacks will not crush the Chinese tech giant; on the contrary, they are making it stronger and helping it set an example for Chinese firms expanding globally. 

I've been covering the Huawei case for months, and I recently traveled to the largest industry event - Mobile World Conference  - in Barcelona, Spain and several offices of Huawei in Italy and Germany. After US Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo leveraged security ties to pressure European countries to shun Huawei, it became a wide-ranging debate in the region. Is Huawei the gateway for China to spy on other countries? Does it pose security risks to 5G networks? Or is it the victim of a geopolitical campaign? 

These are also questions that the company's overseas employees have to answer from time to time, particularly when local media put the spying and security allegations into headlines without providing any evidence. But the widely circulated rumors have indeed sparked suspicions among government officials, foreign customers and business partners.

For Huawei staff, it has been very stressful lately. Some employees in Huawei's Milan, Italy and Dusseldorf, Germany bureaus have to work long hours, staying tuned into conference calls in the late afternoon, and going home late at night. 

This pace is not commonly seen in Europe. Some companies in France won't even reply to email received after work hours.  

Foreign employees account for a large part of the staff in European offices, which is part of Huawei's efforts to localize its business. Senior executives are often assigned from its headquarters in China, and many have worked in African countries before they joined teams in Europe. 

No matter where they come from or what their nationalities are, they all share the same working spirit - dedication and devotion, and of course the confidence in the future of this Chinese tech giant, which also plays a crucial role in the 5G era. 

They are not scared by this well-organized geopolitical campaign led by Washington, and they believe they will get through this difficult time. 

Confidence is built on ability. Huawei is one of the success stories among Chinese companies going global. It has spread its business and services to 170 countries and regions, and more than half of its revenues come from abroad. 

More importantly, there is no single case over the past three decades showing that Huawei poses a security threat to other countries. In legal documents provided by the US government, there is no evidence showing Huawei acts as a spy for the Chinese government. 

During this trip, I also visited Huawei's new cybersecurity center in Brussels, capital of Belgium, which is also the heartland of European policymakers. On the second floor of this center, I saw a technician from a third-party US-based certification company testing codes of its headquarters in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province, without any interference from Huawei's employees. It was an independent process. 

I learned from employees at the center that Huawei learns from foreign companies like Microsoft to build this open, transparent, verifiable third-party testing mechanism. 

At the end of my trip, I noticed that Huawei officially filed a lawsuit against the US government, arguing its ban on the company was an unconstitutional act. I think it is an inspiring move for all 180,000 Huawei staff worldwide. 

Courage is necessary to protect its rights and interests. Responding to groundless accusations and politicized suppression through legal procedures also shows that Huawei is fully prepared, with plenty of ammunition. 


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