Huawei Technologies on Tuesday confirmed previous reports for a plan to spend $2 billion over the next 5 years to focus on cybersecurity, upgrade lab facilities, as it battles global concerns about risks associated with its network gear.
The Chinese technology giant made the announcement is a press conferences at its Dongguan offices.
China’s largest technology company by sales has rapidly become a lightning rod for America’s fears about the Asian country, as tensions between the world’s two richest nations escalate. In Europe, carriers and major customers from Orange SA to BT Group Plc and Deutsche Telekom AG have voiced their concerns about Huawei’s gear, on top of existing bans in Australia, New Zealand and the U.S.
Huawei's CFO Meng Wanzhou was detained in Canada on allegations she defrauded banks to violate Iranian sanctions. The daughter of billionaire founder Ren Zhengfei, she now faces extradition in a case that’s sparked a diplomatic row, chilled travel to China and exacerbated fears Beijing could employ its networks for espionage, something Huawei’s always denied.
“Locking out competitors from a playing field cannot make yourself better. We think any concerns or allegations on security at Huawei should be based on factual evidence,” Huawei's rotating chairman Ken Hu said. “Without factual evidence we don’t accept and we oppose those allegations.”
“We know there’re concerns so we’re willing to take the extra steps needed or go the extra mile versus our peers,” Hu said.
In response, Huawei is planning an overhaul of its global software systems.
It’s offering to spend at least $2 billion to transform the way it engineers software, instead of merely applying one-time changes and workarounds in response to specific demands from companies and governments. That work will continue until all security concerns are assuaged.
Huawei has been communicating with governments worldwide regarding the independence of its operation, he said. He added that Japan and France had not formally banned its telecom equipment.
Wu said Huawei had secured more than 25 commercial contracts for 5G, slightly above the 22 the Chinese technology giant had announced here in November.
The company has shipped more than 10,000 base stations for the fifth generation of mobile communications, he said, adding that Huawei expects revenue to exceed $100 billion this year - up 8.7 percent from last year.