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Huawei Calls Wolf's Letter "Disinformation" Huawei Calls Wolf's Letter "Disinformation"

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Huawei Calls Wolf's Letter "Disinformation"

The Chinese telecom company Huawei is pushing back against GOP Rep. Frank Wolf's request that lobbying firm Sidley Austin drop the company as a client, denying any ties to the Chinese government or military.

Wolf, chairman of a House Appropriations subcommittee, wrote last week to Sidley Austin asking the firm to stop representing Huawei, citing "the longstanding and serious concerns from senior officials in the U.S. intelligence and defense communities, as well as the Congress, about Huawei's connections to the Peoples' Liberation Army and the potential vulnerabilities of its telecom products."

But in an email to the Alley, William Plummer, Huawei's vice president of external affairs, issued a strong rebuttal.

"None of the tired disinformation presented in Representative Wolf's letter is accurate," he wrote. "The facts are that Huawei's corporate independence and the quality, integrity and security of Huawei's solutions have been validated in over 140 markets by over 500 telecommunications operators, including 45 of the world's top 50, across virtually every continent on the planet. Those that allege otherwise should be held accountable to substantiate their claims."

The Alley followed up with Plummer to find out specifically what in Wolf's letter he thought was inaccurate. The letter, for example, cites testimony about Commerce Secretary John Bryson's concerns about Huawei and news reports highlighting the potential national security risks of using Huawei equipment. The letter also noted that Australia "has banned Huawei from bidding to help build a nationwide high-speed Internet network due to concern about cyber attacks traced to China."

But Plummer says all of those allegations and concerns are inaccurate.

"Quoting a politically- or competitor-inspired dis-informed media article does not make its content fact," he wrote in an email. "Nor does citing suggestive yet vague and unsubstantiated testimony in any way make it based in truth. Nor does referencing a foreign government's trade distorting action justify such action or it's shadowy premise, much less similar actions on the part of the US government." 

Plummer also pointed to several articles that called on the governments that have expressed concerns about Huawei to detail those reservations in more detail.

"When it comes to national security, there will always be instances when closed-door review sessions are appropriate - including in the case of Huawei," Claude Barfield, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, wrote in January. "But neither the White House nor the Congress should be allowed to hide completely behind vague, 'national security' concerns."

And Gregory Poling of the Center for Strategic and International Studies wrote this month that governments that voice concerns about the company "must be more forthcoming with the reasons for their distrust," although he added that "if Huawei really is a private entity free of government control, then the onus to prove it rests with the company."  

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