Britain should not fear Huawei


Britain should not fear Huawei

Huawei announced today that it is to double its UK workforce, hiring 500 people by 2014 in engineering, management and sales roles, and creating an additional 1,500 subcontracting jobs.

Whenever Huawei sticks its head above the parapet it comes under fire for its links to the Chinese government, and I am sure there will be some people eyeing this latest move suspiciously. Time and time again western governments have shot down its ambitions in flames, with the Americans proving predictably paranoid.

In the eyes of many, it often seems like Huawei is damned whatever it does.

But although I am critical of the Chinese government for many reasons, the rush to condemn everything associated with it does Britain's long-term interests no good. 

Huawei is a commercial company that is keen to bring jobs and investment to the UK, and whatever its links to Beijing this move should be welcomed.

It has already demonstrated its commitment to working with the UK government with the opening last year of a Cyber Security Evaluation Centre in Oxfordshire, through which Huawei will work with CESG, part of GCHQ, to certify its equipment for use in critical infrastructure projects.

Does it not at least deserve the benefit of the doubt?

This was first published in April 2011

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