US officials claim they have evidence that Huawei maintains backdoor access to telecom networks that use its equipment around the world.
Speaking with the Wall Street Journal, national security adviser Robert O’Brien said the company can access private information on these networks.
“We have evidence that Huawei has the capability secretly to access sensitive and personal information in systems it maintains and sells around the world,” said O’Brien.
It has not been disclosed whether the company has ever used this alleged capability, but US officials told the Wall Street Journal that those purchasing this equipment are unaware of how much access Huawei allegedly has.
Huawei’s head of security Andy Purdy has categorically denied these allegations.
“We vigorously deny the allegation that we retain any such capability,” Purdy told The Verge.
“We also deny that we have ever improperly accessed customer information or customer data.”
US vs Huawei
The US’s distrust of Huawei’s network equipment has existed for a long time, and it has regularly tried to convince its allies not to use equipment from the global technology giant.
However, the UK recently decided to allow Huawei to supply equipment to its networks that do not form part of the country’s core network.
Purdy believes that the US’s campaign against Huawei has contributed to the current geopolitical issues between China and the US.
“The US is committed to this, and I think it’s really prompted by the geopolitical situation between China and the US,” Purdy said.
“The US is unwilling to consider the facts and the evidence, and they’re going to do whatever they can to block our ability to provide products to communication networks around the world.”