back to article Huawei: 'trust us, we are being transparent'

In an environment that's increasingly hostile to Chinese tech companies, Huawei has put forward its case for attitudes to be revised. Speaking to the CeBIT Australia conference in Sydney, the company's global cyber security officer John Suffolk said there's little difference between Huawei and any other major vendor: its …


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  1. cyke1

    Problem is not the hardware, its the software running on it. Being a known Chinese state backed company that has been known to help spy on its own people, whats to stop them from doing same to other countries using said hardware.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      About the same as there is stopping cisco doing the same for Uncle Sam.

    2. BillG


      After all, the Chinese have never lied to us, have they?


      Seriously, the issue isn't today's software, it's the inevitable software upgrade. In the meantime, let's see how Huawei's 2012 campaign contributions to Obama work out for them.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We have our orders!

    Now buy, goddammit.

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Jorba

    missing the point

    It's not about percentages, or using the same suppliers as anyone else. I dont know enough about chip design to comment, but a "sneak" circuit will take, what, 2%, .0.2% 0.0000001% who knows.The problem is simple. People, with good reason, don't trust the Chinese govt, who can say "do whatever" and Huaiwei doesn't have a choice. The same people don't trust the US or UK governments either. What they do trust is that neither of the latter can tell anyone to do anything nasty without a public hue and cry.

    So it's not actually about trust. It's about a scenario where trust is even an option. China doesnt cut it. Frankly neither does Iran or Saudi (NK is a given).

    The ironic thing is that these are the factors that will bring down the chinese, iranian, saudi and N Korean govts within the next fifty years. It will also issue, at some point, a sharp reversal to the western world, where the out of touch leaders are content to piss all over free speech/constitution/plain common sense etc

    This is not just my preference. Liberty has an economic value - the reason why the west is ahead of the rest of the world, over the last 200 years.

    Messy times ahead


    1. nice spam database '); drop table users; --

      Re: missing the point

      China is nowadays being as capitalist as any other country around.

      It's naive to think the US or the UK don't control their companies/population. Maybe they keep us dumb with the two parties movie and Fox news, but definitely there isn't any more "freedom" left.

      Politicians aside. Nobody has been able to throw some tech data about how "unsafe" their products are. When you are working with chips, be it Motorola, Intel, or whatnot, you are working with a black box unless you have the full documentation/specification set available.

      Finally, if you were a big company manager, chances are you'd do your industrial spying by bribing insiders, hell cheaper.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: missing the point

      " Liberty has an economic value - the reason why the west is ahead of the rest of the world, over the last 200 years."

      Remind me, out of the USA and China, which one is massively in debt to the other?

    3. BillG
      IT Angle

      Re: missing the point

      I dont know enough about chip design to comment, but a "sneak" circuit will take, what, 2%, .0.2% 0.0000001% who knows.

      I do know about chip design. And you are correct - a sneak circuit in a chip can take whatever percentage it has to, and it can be made to be completely undetectable by making it look like something legitimate.

      Or it could be in the firmware, or a tight assembly language routine hidden in the (unchangable) boot ROM.

      The opportunities for semiconductor espionage are literally infinite, and it can be completely invisible and totally undetectable.

  5. Shannon Jacobs

    Peculiar problems with Huawei smartphones?

    Or is it my carrier? I'm not trying to start a rumor and this is not intended as some kind of a push poll, but I'm really curious if anyone else has problems when trying to browse the web with a Huawei smartphone. Mostly the phone seems to work pretty well, but whenever I start browsing, about 9 times out of 10 it will do nothing. The browser loads, the screen goes white, and nothing happens. After several minutes, it will start working, but I've never been able to figure out what is causing it--but it does seem to be getting worse. Recently I found someone else with the same problem--but with a different model of Huawei smartphone. (There don't seem to be too many of them around here.)

    Since most of the other network-related functions seem to work well, I'm suspicious that it is something specific to port 80. Something with the firewall? Or should I get paranoid and wonder if the phone is phoning home to Huawei to report on my browsing?

    Whatever it is, the annoyance has reached the level where I'm increasingly eager to dump the phone... I paid about $100 to dump my previous phone before the contract ran out, and the annoyance level and buyout costs are getting close to the same level... Maybe I should suspect a marketing conspiracy to sell more phones? If it gets to that point this time around, I'm pretty sure I'll change carriers, too...

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: Peculiar problems with Huawei smartphones?

      My HTC phone is also a bit crap at web search/browsing, but equally it is likely to be the network sucking donkey balls. Since it is pretty easy for anyone with moderate resources to check what a phone is doing when you attempt to connect, Huawei would be incredibly dumb to put something so obviously dodgy in there.

      "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity"

  6. Sil


    The problem with Chinese infrastructure tech companies is less technological than of economic competition. Hidden subsidies and dumping are significantly distorting competition and are a big threat to companies that play fair.

    1. Yes Me Silver badge

      Re: Dumping

      How do you know that? Given that so many "Western" companies subcontract manufacturing to China (etc.), but pay for their R&D and ridiculous senior management salaries and bonuses at OECD rates, how do you know that Chinese companies aren't simply cheaper to run?

  7. Barbarian

    I smell a rat here: Huawei Australia increased its year-on-year 2012 revenue levels by 61 per cent to $368 million AND THEN.... Aussie Spy Agency plans "stolen" by Chinese... LOL

    On a serious note, most major networking companies have been accused of having some sort of "backdoor(s)" in the past... What/When/Who to believe - that is up to the reader.

    As for Huawei: Their USB 3G dongles are temperamental at the best of times (personal experience). Their networking kit is apparently pretty good and robust (non-personal experience...).

  8. The Serpent

    In my experience, anyone going on about how clear and transparent they want to be is interested in anything but clarity and transparency

  9. btrower

    May not be possible, but...

    It may not be possible to ultimately secure a 'network proximate' device (it does not even need to be actually attached) . However, the current level of security, system wide, betrays an appalling ignorance of security. It is hard to imagine the current state of affairs without at least *some* deliberate manipulation. I have no confidence at all in the current security infrastructure. As far as I can tell, nobody else who knows much about this stuff does either.

  10. h0wi3


    Ask the question whether Huawei can be transparent about their finances and you'll see them quickly heading for the door. The same question that was asked by the US government and wasn't answered transparently.

    How is this related ? Well, I know for sure that vendors who do work for operators can tunnel in easily and control every single box in the network. It's a functionality and not a software "bug". It's like you are given a car that works perfectly, but there's nothing stopping you from purposely restarting the engine or even crashing it.

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