#Huawei says it is ‘delivering tools’ to help Europe take lead in embracing artificial intelligence and #5G

| April 11, 2019

Speaking at an event in Brussels, Sophie Batas, director for cybersecurity and data privacy at Huawei’s Brussels office, said the aim was to “ensure these technologies can be trusted”.

During a briefing session at the company’s new Cyber Security Transparency Centre, Huawei experts explained how the company is using its expertise to speed up deployment while raising the bar for security standards.

Responding to the US “pressure” campaign launched against Huawei, Batas also said: “Compared to the United States, we are ants. But ants can carry 1,000 times their own weight.”

She explained that the company “drew strength from its dedicated workforce” as well as from its focus on customers’ needs.

Reacting to recent accusations against the company, Batas said it would never allow “backdoor access” compromising the security and privacy regulation of any country.

She added: “If we were to continue the analogy, I would say that our muscles are our people. I have been working for Huawei for more than two years. I work with cybersecurity officers, R&D people, engineers and I can assure you that if I had heard anything that would confirm any wrongdoing from the company, as a EU citizen, I would no longer be with the company.

“Huawei is made up of 188,000 people. We are a private company owned by its employees and receiving direct benefits from it. If any government were to find any backdoor, the company would have to shut down and all these people would lose their investment. They are not going to do that.”

She went on: “Moreover, imagining that 188,000 people are involved in a global plot designed by the Chinese government is the stuff of a cheap spy novel. I have difficulty believing that a Government like the United States organised a press conference yesterday to single out one particular company, and I wonder why it is going so far.While discussing with people, politicians or regulators, I sometimes face scepticism when I present our internal security policy. And I tell people: if you don’t trust us, at least ask European companies. Ask the telecom operators.

“The customers are Huawei’s biggest strength. The company truly empowers its customers. That is why almost all of them stand on our side in this debate. In 18 years of cooperation in Europe, no backdoors have ever been found. We have never faced any major cybersecurity event. And we have developed for them the most competitive product for 5G according to their needs. You can check their declarations in the press. Operators trust Huawei and they are confident that they can mitigate any risk.”

The company, she noted “has always treated security has a top priority, and now more than ever”.

She said:”Our CEO stated that he would rather shut down the company than risk damaging the trust our customers have put in us.”

In the coming months, EU member states will perform a risk assessment of the 5G networks and develop risk management approaches and a toolbox and Huawei, she said, will continue to contribute to the work on security standards. Looking ahead, she explained that transparency and open exchanges such as those on Thursday formed an important part of achieving technological progress by enabling trust-based cooperation.

The opening of the transparency centre last month was a “major step” in the process, she said.

The event came in the wake of the EU-China Summit in Brussels on Tuesday (9 April) where EU and China leaders highlighted their joint commitment to 5G for future development and to a secure cyberspace.

Similarly, Huawei’s ‘DigitALL talk on 5G, Cybersecurity & AI’ lunch discussion spotlighted the company’s contribution to meeting such challenges and helping Europeans enjoy cutting-edge innovation, “putting in place a safe environment where it can thrive.”

Another speaker, Anastasios Bikos, 5G Cybersecurity architect at Huawei, told the packed audience that 5G will be a major game-changer for economies across Europe and that, in terms of 5G knowledge and experience, it was 12 months ahead of its competitors.

He told the debate that driverless cars and immersive vertical reality are just a few examples of technologies enabled through 5G.

Bikos added that trust was always a key priority for the company in its operations in over 150 countries worldwide, saying Huawei was “fully committed”  to the security of both 5G and AI.

He said: “AI can boost security and will be a driver for developing economies everywhere, including here in the EU.”

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