The world is divided on the ensuing saga taking place between Huawei and United States, on one hand there are those who have doubts on the Chinese telecommunications innocence, while another believe this is a witch hunt played up by Donald Trump and his cohorts. Whichever side of the fence you sit, the whole episode has revealed that doing business is not just about supply and demand, politics can cause an anomaly in what would otherwise have been a normal trade between two parties. The corporate world is ruthless enough, we don’t need politicians meddling and upsetting the playing field which could potentially cause imbalance in trade with their interference.
This was clearly evident with one company taking advantage with the imbalance by weighing in on its opinion hoping to persuade nations and organisations to stop using Huawei equipment’s after reading the report published by the US Cyber Security Firm, Finate State. Nokia Chief Technology Office Marcus Weldon gave an interview with BBC, UK discussing on the revelation and advising European nations including United Kingdom which recently agreed to purchase 5G hardware from the Chinese manufacturer to be wary of the China made goods. He was obviously taking this opportunity to push his own agenda in getting Nokia products into the 5G fray.
Nokia has lost its market share ever since Chinese firms entered into the telecommunication sector, operators switched to Huawei and ZTE who offer similar systems for far less.
For Marcus Weldon to take potshots at Huawei when the company is facing the most harrowing time of its existence will not bode well in the business community who usually rally together when politics or regulators start interfering in the natural process of trade.
Huawei did reply on the interview, detailing out Mr Weldon’s claims and accusations. Below is the excerpt.
Response to Nokia’s unsubstantiated accusations against Huawei on 27 June, 2019
Recently, Nokia CTO Marcus Weldon gave an interview to the BBC and made a number of accusations against Huawei and the security of our products. We would like to correct three of his more incendiary and inaccurate statements.
Mr. Weldon said Nokia’s equipment is a “safer bet.” implying Huawei’s devices are less secure. The facts disagree.
Our product security is verified by third parties using world-class standards
Mr. Weldon referred to testing results from US firm Finite State without checking its methods or mentioning any other third-party tests to which our equipment is subjected. Our products are subject to a thorough range of tests from a number of specialist organizations, such as Cigital, in security verification. The results speak for themselves.
Huawei is subjected to the most rigorous cyber security checks in the world
Mr. Weldon admitted the UK’s National Cyber Security Center has not found any so-called “backdoor” in Huawei’s products and said Nokia’s equipment “was not subject to the same checks.” If that’s the case, will Nokia also voluntarily submit its source code for testing?
Mr. Weldon said “the Chinese” had access to funding mechanisms that give Huawei an unfair advantage, and that pressure from the US serves as a counterbalance. “It’s fairness returning to the market,” he said. This claim is insulting and baseless.
Our financing is transparent, simple and fair
Information on all the government grants Huawei receives is outlined in our annual report. This report is audited by KPMG and openly available on our website. As we said in our latest annual report, government grants account for less than 0.2% of our revenue.
Pressure from the US disrupts the market, and does not make it ‘more fair’
The US ban is disrupting global trade norms, and attempts to interfere with open markets will weaken the world economy. Over the past 30 years, our customers voted with their wallets, awarding us what they believe is a fair share of the market. We have seen this trend continue with 5G.
Mr. Weldon said “the UK should be wary of using the Chinese firm’s equipment” in its network infrastructure. This statement overlooks the ICT industry’s global supply chain, and that a number of Nokia’s components are sourced from China.
Technology is the product of a global supply chain
Around 30% of Huawei’s product components are developed and produced by us. A company’s logo on a piece of equipment in no way indicates that the product comes entirely from that one company.
The same is true for our competitors
This includes European telecom vendors because a proportion of their equipment and components are made in China. Like Huawei, their equipment is used widely (and securely) around the world.
Marcus Weldon’s claims lack substance and are an unacceptable breach of business norms. This threatens to damage Nokia’s credibility, as well as our brand reputation. In response to the claim Nokia is a “safer bet”, we can only say “don’t bet on it.”