China's Huawei willing to sign 'no-spy agreement'

The company chairman says espionage concerns are overblown and denies that Huawei would spy for Chinese government

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(By Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Huawei’s chairman told reporters via an interpreter in London on Tuesday (May 14) the Chinese company would be willing to sign a “no-spy agreement” with the United Kingdom, The Guardian reports.

Huawei Chairman Liang Hua (梁華) said the company had never intended to spy on western consumers. Furthermore, concerns about Chinese law requiring Huawei to cooperate with China’s intelligence agencies were simply hype.

Speaking about espionage concerns, Liang said Huawei was willing to sign a “no-spy agreement” with governments, including the U.K. “No spying, no backdoors,” said Liang.

Amid United States pressure on European countries to avoid Huawei, Liang has traveled to the U.K., along with senior Huawei executives, to hold meetings with suppliers and partners to promote Huawei’s mobile phone network kit. He has not met any government officials, according to The Guardian.

Liang also stressed that Huawei has never been asked by the Chinese government to conduct surveillance, although he admitted the government could legally require Huawei to do so.

He explained to reporters the law could not be enforced in practice, because, “There is no law that says if we refuse to enforce it [a request from Chinese intelligence agencies], it will be a crime.”