Huawei on Tuesday reacted to statements made by US Ambassador to Europe Gordon Sondland in Bucharest last week, in which he urged Romania to become "Huawei-free". The company issued its own statement calling Sondland's position "unfounded" and "politically motivated".
On September 5, where he was prompted about Huawei tech that may be considered in EU countries for 5G services, Ambassador Sondland said during a press conference in Bucharest:
- Romania just signed a memorandum of understanding with the US just before President Iohannis met with President Trump. And the goal under that MoU is for Romania to become, I should say, Huawei-free. We want our friends and allies to use any kind of equipment they want to use in their 5G as long as it's compliant with their standards of government, which does not include information sharing with host governments, does not include malign activities and a whole host of things which we obviously opposed. I think Romania has taken a very sober look at their future 5G technology and has decided that Chinese technology is not the way to go and we applaud that. (...) Romanians are actively engaged into looking elsewhere for their 5G technology and we are very supportive of those moves.
Now, Huawei issued its answers to Sondland's declarations, saying them unfounded and a "politically motivated action" against the company. Huawei, which is at the center of tensions between the US and China on telecom technologies, said:
- "Huawei transmits a message through which it encourages discussions based on arguments and substantiated declarations, regarding the declarations of Mr. Gordon Sondland, US ambassador to EU. During his visit to Bucharest, on September 5th, he encouraged Romania to become a country “free of Huawei”. He has made certain declarations regarding Huawei and the alleged intentions of the company, declarations which need clarifications, and which require a right to reply from the company.
- Huawei strongly opposes the unfounded declarations made by Mr. Sondland in Romania. This is, obviously, a politically motivated action against Huawei, and an interference in Romanian affairs. The US government has been attacking Huawei for a long while, without providing solid proof to justify this behavior. Without Huawei’s involvement, US networks will remain of inferior quality compared to the European ones, despite costing three times as much. Moreover, US networks are not more secure. While taking these into account, it is ridiculous for the US government to force its unsuccessful experiences onto other countries.
- Huawei has always appreciated EU’s initiative to manage cybersecurity based on standards and verification mechanisms, and we are aware that Romania is an active player in developing the associated evaluation process. The company believes this is the best way to address cyber security challenges.
- Huawei is a private company wholly owned by its employees. We have a clearly defined ownership and governance structure. No government agency or outside organization holds any shares in Huawei or controls Huawei in any way. Over the past three decades, Huawei has served three billion people worldwide, including those in Romania.
- The company has a robust cyber security assurance system and a strong track record in security. We welcome those interested to get in contact with us and arrange a visit to Huawei in order to gain a better understanding of our company. Huawei believes that the Romanian government will independently make a just decision that benefits the Romanian people.
- Thanks to Romania's open and equitable investment environment, Huawei has been operating in the country for 17 years, contributing to its economic and digital development. We are ready and willing to continue providing Romania with secure and reliable products and solutions. Huawei is also prepared to utilize our global expertise and compelling advantages in innovation to drive Romania's economic growth."