Huawei, a company unknown to many just a few years ago, is today the most feared company in the West. Huawei’s rapid success in the global telecommunications market has made it a target not just of competitors, but also some Western Governments that have projected and magnified their fears of China as an emergent global power on to Huawei.
Huawei’s success in building and selling telecom equipment (often used in national critical infrastructure), its alleged use of industrial espionage, its ability to compete against some of the world’s largest and most successful companies, and most significantly its country of origin, have all converged to the point that concerns about Huawei have become mainstream enough in the U.S. for the company to be profiled on the investigative news program 60 Minutes.
Competitors, particularly Cisco, are making the case that Huawei can not be trusted because of its business practices and the quality of its products while some national governments, particularly the U.S. government, are suggesting that Huawei is an agent of the Chinese government and can not be trusted to keep its products free of hidden backdoors or kill switches.
Read this brief to understand the controversy surrounding Huawei and the rational response to U.S. Government concerns.
This report is part of a series on cybersecurity policy. Read more here.