Huawei boss assures New Zealand on cyber security

BY    2013-05-09 19:53:24

  WELLINGTON - The founder and head of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei on Thursday moved to reassure the New Zealand government and businesses that cyber-security was a top priority for his company in supplying ICT equipment.

  Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei, who was in Wellington for talks with Communications Minister Amy Adams, said in a statement that New Zealand was a wonderful, progressive country that actively embraces the introduction of next generation telecoms infrastructure.

  Last year, a United States Congress report advised US firms to avoid buying from Huawei over alleged security risks and the Australian government banned Huawei equipment from its National Broadband Network, but Ren's firm is a major supplier for the New Zealand government's nationwide Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) initiative and Telecom New Zealand's 4G mobile phone network.

  "New Zealand is one of Huawei's most important strategic markets and is very valuable to us," Ren said.

  "The booming digital economy in New Zealand in recent years will help the ICT industry globally to become more diversified, balanced and healthy. Within such a positive environment, Huawei actively cooperates to create and share strategic benefits with our customers," said Ren.

  "We hope to strengthen and enhance the win-win cooperation model with the ICT industry in New Zealand through this visit, and hope in the future to extend such models to other Huawei operations around the globe."

  A stable telecommunications network, especially during earthquakes, tsunamis and other emergencies, was the ultimate social responsibility of network infrastructure manufacturers, said Ren.

  "Cyber-security is a significant challenge facing our industry globally today. The solution must involve governments, telecommunications operators and ICT companies, including Huawei and our peers, as well as end users coming together to take collaborative, solutions-oriented, multi-lateral approaches to mitigate the risk," he said.

  Huawei equipment was almost non-existent in current US networks, and the company had never sold any key equipment to major US carriers or to any US government agency.

  "Huawei has no connection to the cyber security issues the US has encountered in the past, current and future," said Ren.

  Huawei, which began operating in New Zealand in 2005, was " deeply embedded in the New Zealand ICT ecosystem."

  The company employed 120 people in New Zealand -- 90 percent of them hired locally -- and intended to employ even more staff and increase its investments in New Zealand.

  Over the last three years Huawei's total direct investment in New Zealand was NZ$139 million($142.24 million).

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