blog We’ve been harping on for years about the need for anyone accusing Chinese networking vendor Huawei of spying for the Chinese Government to come up with direct evidence to prove the so far unproven allegations. That’s why, when Financial Review journalist Christopher Joye published similar allegations last week by the former head of US mega-agencies the CIA and NSA, our inclination was to ignore the controversy. After all, Joye has hardly covered himself in glory with his journalistic accuracy covering IT security stories in Australia recently. Plus, Huawei itself had this to say at the time:
“This is tired nonsense we’ve been hearing for years, trotted out anew as a flimsy bright and shiny object to distract attention from the very real compromising of global networks and information that has been exposed in recent weeks. Misdirecting and slandering Huawei may feel okay because the company is Chinese-based – no harm, no foul, right? Wrong.
Huawei is a world-proven multinational across 150 global markets that supports scores and scores of American livelihoods, and thousands more, indirectly, through $6 billion a year in procurements from American suppliers. Someone says they got some proof of some sort of threat? Okay. Then put up. Or shut up. Lacking proof in terms of the former, which seems clearly the case, this is politically-inspired and racist corporate defamation, nothing more.”
And now we have, courtesy of Joye as well, with the input of veteran Defence writer John Kerin, an explicit denial by China’s ambassador to Australia, Chen Yuming, about the situation. We recommend you click here to read the whole article, but here’s the key paragraph:
“Facts speak louder than words. There may be some people doing things the article referred to, but it is not Huawei or China for sure,” Ambassador Chen said. “China strongly condemns any defamation out of political motives of a Chinese company that enjoys high reputation in Australia and around the world.”
We’ve been arguing precisely the same line for several years. We did it when The Australian newspaper came up with allegations that Australia’s own security agencies were investigating Huawei. We did it again when the National Broadband Network Company barred Huawei from participating in its billion-dollar contracts for networking gear. And no doubt we’ll be forced to do it again in future.
If someone has some direct evidence that Huawei has been spying for the Chinese Government, then let them come forward with that evidence. So far all we have is hearsay and innuendo. And that is not enough, as Huawei and China’s Ambassador to Australia have clearly stated, when we’re talking about billion dollar contracts and the reputation of one of the world’s largest technology vendors. As Huawei has said, on this issue, “put up, or shut up”.
There’s also a great irony here which I feel many people will find self-evident. Does it not demonstrate rampant hypocrisy, when the former head of the US Government’s National Security Agency, which has been proven to be spying on non-US citizens extensively through its intrusive PRISM program, in coalition with giant US tech vendors, accuses a Chinese company of doing the same, but without evidence? Sounds like an attempt to divert attention from the real story, to my mind.