Huawei face same security standards as Ericsson and Nokia

Huawei ‘should face same security standards as Ericsson and Nokia’, says US executive

05 August 2019 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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A Huawei executive has asked for equal treatment with Nokia and Ericsson on security checks – saying they also have Chinese connections.

Andy Purdy (pictured), chief security officer of Huawei USA, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV that the same standards should be applied to Huawei as to its two big rivals, which are based in Finland and Sweden but have R&D and manufacturing in China.

“We want to talk about proven risk mitigation mechanisms that have satisfied the US government and have allowed Nokia and Ericsson to do business in the US, despite their deep ties to China,” said Purdy in an interview with Bloomberg TV’s Shery Ahn, conducted at the China Institute in New York. 

It seems to be the first time anyone from the Chinese company – especially a Westerner – has raised such a direct comparison with its treatment and the way Nokia and Ericsson are allowed to work in the US. “We’d like to talk about that,” said Purdy, a lawyer who, according to his LinkedIn profile, oversees Huawei USA’s cyber security and user privacy protection programme.

Purdy, according to the same profile, spent two years in the last decade as acting director of the National Cyber Security Division in the US government’s Department of Homeland Security.

Ahn asked Purdy about a law that is claimed to force Huawei to deliver information from the networks using its equipment to Chinese security officials. Purdy said that two international law firms and the Chinese government agree “that the law does not say or mean that”, and he pointed out that “the telecoms operators control the networks”, insisting that “our networks never touch the customer networks”.

He said Huawei did not want to be involved in trade talks between the US and China. “We’d love to see a US China trade deal”, but if Huawei were part of “everything becomes political”.