Huawei European Union media manager, Jakub Hera Adamowicz slammed allegations against the Chinese tech giant at a press conference in Brussels on Tuesday, stating that the firm had "never been engaged in any intelligence activities in the Czech Republic" and did not operate in North Korea.
The news comes after Huawei was accused of violating national security by a Czech Republic broadcaster earlier this week, according to reports in Western media,
In response to a question concerning recent stories about #Huawei, @jakubadamEU told the audience that the company does not operate in the DPRK & #Huawei has never engaged in intelligence gathering in the #CzechRepublic! #HuaweiFacts
— Huawei EU (@HuaweiEU) July 23, 2019
The report cited two anonymous managers in the telecoms firm alongside ‘domestic intelligence services’, who claimed that data sent to the company’s system was controlled exclusively from Huawei’s headquarters in Shenzhen and was “very difficult to trace and prove what and who accesses this sensitive data".
The sources also alleged that it was a “well-established practice” for Huawei to discuss information in meetings with people from the Chinese embassy, but did not say if those in question were spies, and that workers taking part were encouraged to "take advantage" in internal meetings at the local embassy”.
The anonymous employees also said that they were tasked with gathering intelligence for Huawei based on personal information from clients, including their number of children, income, and hobbies.
While the United States and other countries have banned using Huawei telecoms products, Huawei has been making major gains in Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC), with Chinese officials visiting Poland for a week-long tour in early July to discuss deepening cooperation in the Belt and Road Initiative alongside Hungary and Slovakia.
But in the Czech Republic, an audit of roughly 160 agencies and companies was launched earlier this year to assess risks related to using Huawei and ZTE telecoms products, Czech prime minister Andrej Babis announced in January, adding that the audit would include power plants, water and telecoms systems, among others.
European Union countries should coordinate their approach to cyber security, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis said on Friday after meeting the chairman of Huawei Technologies in Davos, according to news agency CTK.
— Benjamin Wood (@BenjaminWoodPHX) January 25, 2019
National Cyber and Information Security Agency (NCISA) director Dusan Navratil also said in December last year that Prague suspected products from the two Chinese tech firms as posing threats to national security following a report accusing Beijing of ‘industrial espionage’ with an alleged law used to access information via backdoor technology on their products. Huawei representative to the Czech Republic, Magda Teresa Partyka, slammed the accusations, stating that there were no laws in China forcing Huawei to use such technologies.