Huawei not spying on UK, concludes Oversight Board report

A UK security probe into Huawei’s technology has concluded that the company has not presented any risk to national security

In its first annual report, the Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre (HCSEC) Oversight Board has concluded that there is no evidence that Huawei has presented any risk to the UK’s national security.

Banbury-based HCSEC was set up by Huawei in 2010 under an agreement between the firm and the government to mitigate any risks, real or perceived, to the UK’s national security that might arise from the use of Huawei equipment in parts of the critical national infrastructure.

The centre evaluates a range of Huawei products and services currently in use in the UK, and provides the government with insight into the firm’s strategies and technology.

The Oversight Board, set up in 2014 in response to an earlier report that recommended clearer and more thorough scrutiny of HCSEC, is chaired by GCHQ director general of cyber security Ciaran Martin and comprises a number of Huawei executives, sitting alongside representatives from the Cabinet Office, and telcos BT and Vodafone.

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In its report, the Oversight Board said it had found that the technical assurance provided by Huawei was “of sufficient scope and quality” to meet its obligations; that auditor EY had provided sufficient assurance that HCSEC was working independently of Huawei; and that, ultimately, HCSEC had fulfilled its obligations and any risk to security from Huawei’s involvement in the UK had been “sufficiently mitigated”.

Record sales

Meanwhile, Huawei has reported record sales in 2014, up 21% to CNY 288.2bn (£31.48bn), while net profit soared by over 30% to CNY 27.9bn (£3.04bn).

“Our strong revenue growth in 2014 can be attributed to a continuous focus on our pipe strategy, while profit increase stems from streamlined management and improvements in overall efficiency,” said Ken Hu, deputy chairman of the board and rotating CEO.

“With heavy investment in innovations in areas such as cloud computing, big data, 5G, SDN and NFV, we believe we are well positioned to capture the tremendous business opportunities in this digital transformation era.”

Huawei’s consumer and enterprise business groups stood out as strong performers, in part due to demand for smartphones in its core and emerging markets, and business demand for more agile datacentre networking solutions.

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