Huawei says it would never hand data to China’s government. Experts say it wouldn’t have a choice

  • CNBC
    Date: March 4 2019
    By: Arjun Kharpal

    KEY POINTS

  • Huawei would be forced to hand over 5G data to the Chinese government if it was asked for it, because of national security laws, experts told CNBC.
  • China’s National Intelligence Law from 2017 requires organizations and citizens to “support, assist and cooperate with the state intelligence work.”
  • A government spokesperson said that intelligence work should be done “according to the law” and urged people to “not take anything out of context.”
Ren Zhengfei, founder and chief executive officer of Huawei Technologies, left, speaks during an interview at the company’s headquarters in Shenzhen, China, in January.Qilai Shen | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Huawei would have no choice but to hand over network data to the Chinese government if Beijing asked for it, because of espionage and national security laws in the country, experts told CNBC.

Major governments including the United States, Japan and Australia have blocked the Chinese telecommunications equipment maker from providing hardware for next-generation mobile networks known as 5G. The U.S. has said Huawei equipment could provide backdoors for the Chinese government into American networks — a claim the company has repeatedly denied.

Australia did not cite specific countries or companies, but last year it gave guidance to domestic carriers saying that “the involvement of vendors who are likely to be subject to extrajudicial directions from a foreign government that conflict with Australian law, may risk failure by the carrier to adequately protect a 5G network from unauthorized access or interference.”
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