Huawei executive says fair, open standard benefits industry, consumers

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Koen Claesen, Huawei Senior Cyber Security Advisor, speaks during a debate at Huawei Cyber Security Transparency Center in Brussels, Belgium, on Jan. 30, 2020. Huawei held the debate on 5G cyber security toolbox on Thursday, following the issuance of the EU 5G "toolbox". The European Commission on Wednesday issued the non-binding guidelines -- agreed by 28 member states -- known as a "toolbox" for 5G security, where the EU sets out detailed mitigation plans for each of the identified risks and recommends a set of key strategic and technical measures. (Xinhua/Zhang Cheng)

Huawei supports a "fair and open" standard of security and business operation across the telecoms industry, which is good for the industry and consumers, Victor Zhang, vice-president of Huawei Group, said in a recent interview with Xinhua.

British government announced Tuesday its new plans to safeguard the country's telecoms network, which is widely seen as approving a restricted role for the Chinese tech company in helping build the country's 5G network. Following Britain's announcement, the European Union (EU) also issued non-binding guidelines on 5G security Wednesday.

"Each country has their own situation, different conditions, and each country has their own way to make decisions, especially in regulating the telecoms market," said Zhang, "so we believe this is a good result and we look forward to working with the British government in enhancing the cyber security standard, and building the most secured and advanced telecoms network."

The British government's Telecoms Supply Chain Review has emphasized the importance of diversity in the supply of equipment to telecoms networks. For the time being, major telecoms operators in Britain, such as the EE and Vodafone, both use Huawei's equipment in their 4G and 5G networks. Operators have previously warned about the cost and delay of the rollout of 5G if they are required to replace all Huawei equipment in their networks.

"We have worked with telecoms operators in Britain for more than 15 years, and the trust has been built and we hope we can continue working with them in the deployment of next-generation networks," said Zhang.

According to Kester Mann, director of consumer and connectivity at CCS Insight, a mobile industry analyst firm, the British government's decision is "broadly positive" for the country. Having a wide range of suppliers is important in terms of operators rolling out their 5G networks and Huawei infrastructure is generally considered to be more competitive and affordable than some of its competitors could offer.

Although Huawei faced challenges in the U.S. market, the company held the highest share of the global telecoms equipment market at 28 percent from the third quarter in 2018 to the second quarter in 2019, according to a report released last year by market research firm Dell'Oro Group.

Even though both the British government and the EU proposed some tighter measures in their telecoms industry regulation plans and guidelines, Zhang said he does not think this will have an impact on Huawei's global operations.

"We have been working with our global customers, many of whom are top 500 companies in the world, and they trust Huawei given our technology and innovation and our ability to deliver value to them," said Zhang, "we will continue working with them in 5G and probably 6G in the future."

As for Huawei's investment in Britain, Zhang said his company will stick to its commitment to Britain, especially in research and development and procurement plans.

"Britain has an open and very transparent business environment, and this is why we chose it as one of our major destinations for R&D cooperation," he added. 

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