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Saturday, December 5, 2020

Huawei rejects claims that it poses a security threat to Jamaica

The Chinese firm Huawei Technologies has rejected claims that it could be a threat Jamaica’s security if it is given the nod to roll out the country’s 5G technology.

In a release yesterday Huawei said the allegations that it would provide a security risk are unfounded without any factual ground to support them.

“During our more than 10 years’ operation in Jamaica, as with over three decades in 170 plus countries and regions around the world, we maintained a proven track record of zero major security incidents.

“Huawei has never caused even the slightest shred of threat to Jamaica cybersecurity and never will we,” said the company.

“As a localised company with a track record in high-quality solutions and services as well as cybersecurity, we have the trust of our customers and partners and are fully committed to contributing to local ICT and digital transformation, and supporting development of the country. We are open for communication with all stakeholders,” added Huawei.

The Chinese firm was responding to United States Ambassador to Jamaica Donald Tapia, who in an interview with the Jamaica Observer last week, warned that any decision by Jamaica to move with Huawei or any other Chinese providers could come with consequences.

According to Tapia the island’s financial sector would be especially hard hit if the Government engages 5G technology from a Chinese source.

He said the US has national security concerns with 5G technology developed by Chinese companies such as Huawei and ZTE and reiterated his Government’s position that it will reassess how it interconnects and shares information with countries that compromise their 5G security.

“As for consequences, it’s gonna affect banking, any financial transaction from this island,” Tapia said, adding “that’s the biggest consequence you have, that your financial institutions and the finance of Jamaica stops.”

Tapia pointed to a publication from the US State Department titled Huawei: MYTH vs FACT in which it was argued that the Chinese firm, “cannot be trusted to tell the truth or protect the interest of others, and it should not be trusted with the vital security of 5G networks”.

The Chinese Embassy in Kingston was quick to reject Tapia’s claim as it argued that, “not a single country has produced evidence of so-called threatening national security by products and services provided by Chinese companies”.

According to Xia Shaowu, chief of political section at the Chinese Embassy, Tapia’s allegations about China and Chinese enterprises, “fully expose the consistent US practice of arbitrarily interfering in other countries’ domestic and foreign policies and forcing small and medium-sized countries to choose sides”.

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