Huawei says security issues could take five years to resolve

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In a letter to MPs yesterday the company pledged to spend £1.5billion to address security concerns but said it could take three to five years to bring "tangible results".

Huawei has since committed to spending $2 billion in a drive to fix those problems, but in a letter to lawmakers last week, Ryan Ding, president of the company's carrier business group, said it would take up to five years to see results.

'Enhancing our software engineering capabilities is like replacing components on a high-speed train in motion.

Citing a matter of national security, the USA has not only called for Huawei's ban in the country, but has also urged its allies to do the same.

"Modern communications networks are complex systems that keep evolving in new and innovative ways", he wrote, adding that the fix process was like "replacing components on a high-speed train in motion". "Were Huawei ever to engage in malicious behaviour, it would not go unnoticed - and it would certainly destroy our business", continues Ding.

Huawei is a key partner for many United Kingdom telcos and is subject to monitoring by the Banbury-based Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre (HCSEC), a specialist unit formed in 2010 to monitor the use of the equipment in the UK's network infrastructure. No EU-wide law has been introduced on the matter to date, and any restrictions on 5G contracts for national security reasons remain a decision for individual nations. We choose to ensure security.

The speech came just days after a team of USA officials toured EU capitals - including Brussels - urging European governments to scrap Huawei technology from their telecom infrastructure plans.

The HCSEC, located in Oxfordshire, was launched in November 2010 to help mitigate any potential risks from using Huawei technology in the UK's critical national infrastructure.

An executive order banning USA networks from using Huawei and ZTE equipment has been rumored for several months now.

Reuters also reported that the Italian government has denied that it will ban Huawei and fellow Chinese networking company ZTE from its 5G rollouts.

The company has suffered a number of setbacks in recent months because of apparent concerns over its security - The Prince's Trust recently announced it would no longer accept donations from the firm, and both Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson and the head of MI6 Alex Younger have publicly expressed their concerns over the company.

China accused the United Kingdom of "deep-rooted pride and prejudice" in response to Mr Williamson's comments last December.

Its chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada in December at the request of the US.

The US Justice Department has charged Huawei with conspiring to violate US sanctions on Iran and with stealing robotic technology from T-Mobile.

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