Huawei chairman offers the UK ‘no spy’ deal as Trump ban looms in US

15 May 2019 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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President Donald Trump is expected to ban Huawei and other Chinese telecoms suppliers from selling equipment to US companies.

Reuters is reporting that Trump will sign an executive order banning “equipment made by firms posing a national security risk”, though the report, which cites three unnamed US officials, does not specifically name Huawei or China.

The news agency said the order would invoke the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

Meanwhile in the UK the Huawei board chairman, Liang Hua (pictured), said the company wanted to reassure politicians it had “no intention” of allowing its technology to be used for surveillance.

Liang, speaking to media in London at a conference of Huawei business partners, said the company would be prepared to sign what he called a “no-spy” agreement with the UK government.

The message was amplified yesterday by Tim Watkins, the Chinese company’s vice president for western Europe, in a long radio interview. He insisted that Huawei is a private company and not obliged to hand over customer data and intelligence to any government.

Liang said Huawei had never been asked to conduct any surveillance by the Chinese government.

In his speech to business partners he said Huawei wanted to contribute to the UK’s digitisation programme. “We are in a leading position for 5G. We participated in the UK government’s 5G trials and are ready to support our customers’ commercial 5G launches in the UK,” he said.

“We are supporting the national rollout of fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology in the country. We also have competitive and innovative solutions for connecting hard-to-reach areas.”