Chinese telecoms giant Huawei’s cybersecurity chief told the UK parliament on Monday that they were under no Chinese spy laws for which they had to spy.
John Suffolk who is Huawei cybersecurity chief told a committee hearing that Huawei had sought guidance from its attorneys to see if a Chinese law on domestic companies’ cooperation with the government on security matters could force it to conduct foreign intelligence work.
Huawei currently provides the most advanced 5G technology in the world, and president Trump warned that the US might have stopped sharing intelligence with Britain if they build its new network around Huawei hardware
Trump’s administration has cited the legislation in its attempts to force governments across the world to drop Huawei from their 5G network development plans.
Suffolk said, “There are no laws in China that obligate us to work with the Chinese government with anything whatsoever,”
“Our legal advice is that is not the case.”
Britain and other states are concerned by a series of Chinese laws that include one adopted in June 2017 covering private companies and intelligence matters.
Committee member Julian Lewis cited the legislation as saying that Beijing had the power to “request the relevant organs, organisations and civilians to provide necessary support, assistance and cooperation” to various Chinese security agencies.
Suffolk said the legislation’s “unclear” wording forced Huawei to consult its Chinese attorneys and advisers at London’s Clifford Chance law firm.
Suffolk said, “Many countries produce laws that are unclear, and we have had to go through a period of clarification with the Chinese government that have come out and made it quite clear that (spying) is not the requirement on any company,”
“We have had that validated again by our lawyers and revalidated again by Clifford Chance. I believe there is no such obligation.”
Lewis called Suffolk’s explanation “entirely unbelievable”.