Huawei Technologies on Tuesday said it would spend $2 billion over the next 5 years to focus on cybersecurity by adding more people and upgrading lab facilities, as it battles global concerns about risks associated with its network gear.
The typically secretive Chinese technology giant made the comments at one of its most in depth press conferences at its Dongguan offices, after welcoming about two dozen international journalists into its new campus in the southern Chinese city.
Huawei has been making headlines these past weeks for the arrest of its chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou also the daughter of its billionaire founder Ren Zhengfei in Canada at the request of the United States.
This has placed strain on the Chinese firm, which has already been virtually locked out of the U.S. market and has been prohibited by Australia and New Zealand from building 5G networks amid concerns its gear could facilitate Chinese spying.
“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,” its rotating chairman Ken Hu said. “Without factual evidence we don’t accept and we oppose those allegations.”
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. According to recent media reports, moves by these governments to shun the company’s equipment.
Sources have told Reuters that Japan planned to ban government purchases of equipment.
Other media reported that the country’s three top operators planned not to use current equipment and upcoming 5G gear from Huawei, and that France was considering adding items to its “high-alert” list that tacitly targets Huawei.
Huawei has repeatedly said Beijing has no influence over it.
At the tour of Huawei’s Shenzhen headquarters on Tuesday, journalists glimpsed some of Huawei’s most advanced R&D labs housed in a three-storey building with a white facade and four columns, referred to by insiders as the “White House”.
Wu said Huawei had secured more than 25 commercial contracts for 5G, slightly above the 22 the Chinese technology giant had announced 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.
Huawei is the world’s largest supplier of telecommunications network equipment and second-biggest maker of smartphones and unlike other big Chinese technology firms, derives half its revenue from overseas.